A Seaside Heights man faces up to three decades in prison after admitting to a stabbing death in what prosecutors called a drug deal gone wrong.

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer announced Wednesday that 51-year-old John T. Mullen pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter.

On Oct. 20, 2019, Manchester police found the body of 34-year-old township resident Thomas Applegate lying in the driveway of the Surf and Stream Campground with a chest wound.

Applegate was pronounced dead at the scene.

Billhimer said investigators determined Mullen had stabbed Applegate during the course of a drug deal.

Mullen is slated for sentencing on Nov. 30, when the state is expected to recommend a 30-year sentence.

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Sunset on the beach in Cape May County on the last day of summer, 2020

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