Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Great Uncle

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WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to killing his 84-year-old great uncle, a man the defendant accused of molesting him as a child.

The Telegram & Gazette reports that 28-year-old Jonathan Hart pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter and other charges in the September 2011 stabbing death of Joseph Cernauskas in his Hardwick home.

Hart, of Barre, had originally faced a murder charge.

Authorities say Hart and an accomplice stabbed the victim repeatedly, stole some items, set fire to his house, and disposed of the body in a remote area of town. They fled to Florida in a stolen vehicle.

Hart told police after he was arrested that Cernauskas had molested him.

Hart faces 25 to 30 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Friday.

Charges against the other man are pending.

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