A Burlington County man, who beat his 77-year-old mother to death with a pan so he could sell her belongings to buy cocaine, was sentenced Friday to 25 years in state prison.
Brian K. Templeton, 54, pleaded guilty in August to aggravated manslaughter as part of a plea agreement with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, which required him to serve more than 21 years before being eligible for parole.
Templeton killed his mother, Doris Templeton, last October at their apartment in Edgewater Park, according to investigators. After bludgeoning her with a kitchen pan as she slept in her bed, he stuffed her body in a cedar chest and left it there for several days.
He later moved the chest containing his deceased mother to his car and parked outside the pizzeria where he worked in Willingboro, authorities said. Police discovered the body about three weeks after the slaying. Detectives launched an investigation Nov. 11, 2019 after a worker at the apartment complex reported Doris Templeton had not been seen in more than two weeks.
In court, Brian Templeton expressed remorse for the crime and told Superior Court Judge Philip E. Haines that he was “not in the right frame of mind” because of his addiction, according to an account from the prosecutor’s office.
“I do feel remorse,” Templeton said in court in Mount Holly. “She was the only person that I really had.”
Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina called the case a “horrifying crime for several reasons.”
“Brian Templeton’s father left their family when he was a toddler, and he was raised by his mother,” Coffina said in a statement.
“When this defendant looks back on her determination and dedication to be there for him, he will have to contrast memories of that commitment with the savage way he killed her, and the unimaginably callous treatment shown afterward to her remains,” the prosecutor said.
Assistant Prosecutor Bob Van Gilst, who heads the violent crime unit, handled the case, Coffina said. Prosecutor’s office Sgt. Brian Miller led the investigation.
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Noah Cohen may be reached at [email protected].