A 39-year-old Philadelphia man has pleaded guilty in the bludgeoning death of his younger brother last year at Harrah’s in Atlantic City.

Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner says John A. Villante pleaded guilty to first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter late last week.

John Villante - Photo: ACPO
John Villante - Photo: ACPO

On May 28, 2019, at approximately 3:10 p.m., Harrah’s Hotel security was contacted in reference to a medical emergency in a room on the 11th floor of the Harrah’s Hotel. The victim, identified as 32 year-old Joseph Villante, of Philadelphia, PA, was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Division where he was pronounced deceased. Atlantic City Police responded and notified the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and a cooperative investigation commenced.


An autopsy was completed by the Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office and the cause of death was ruled to be multiple injuries, including blunt force injuries of the head. The manner of death was determined to be homicide.

An investigation led to the arrest of Joseph’s brother, John; he was arrested on May 30th, 2019, without incident. He is lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility with sentencing is scheduled for October 26th.

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