EDGEWATER PARK — A man who fatally beat his elderly mother as she slept in their apartment so he could sell her belongings to buy cocaine has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison.

Brian Templeton, 54, of Edgewater Park, had pleaded guilty in August to aggravated manslaughter as part of a plea deal with the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office. He was sentenced Friday.

The body of 77-year-old Doris Templeton was found last November in a car that had been left for weeks in the parking lot of a Willingboro pizza shop where her son worked as a deliveryman.

The discovery culminated a search that began several days earlier, when a worker at the Courtyard Apartments complex told police that Doris Templeton had not been seen in more than two weeks.

Prosecutors said Brian Templeton fatally beat his mother with a kitchen pan, then put her body in a chest and loaded the chest into his car, which he then drove to the pizzeria. An autopsy determined that she died from blunt force trauma to the head.

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