Trenton drug dealer pleads guilty to death of Mansfield Township man

Darius Beckett, 29, of Academy Street in Trenton. Photo Courtesy of the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office
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Darius Beckett, 29, of Academy Street in Trenton. Photo Courtesy of the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office

A Trenton man recently pled guilty to causing the death of a Mansfield Township man.

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina announced on July 30 that a Trenton drug dealer pled guilty in superior court to initiating the death of a customer by supplying the heroin that led to the Mansfield resident’s fatal overdose in the summer of 2018.

Under an agreement with the prosecutor’s office, Darius Beckett, 29, of Academy Street in Trenton, pled guilty to strict liability for drug-induced death (first degree) and making terroristic threats (third degree) in exchange for an eight-year sentence in New Jersey state prison.

In accordance with the state’s No Early Release Act, Beckett will be required to serve 85% of the term before becoming eligible for parole, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office.

On Aug. 12, 2018, a prosecutor’s report said that officers from the Mansfield Township Police Department were dispatched to White Pine Road in the Columbus section of the township for a report of an unresponsive adult male.

Upon arrival, officers discovered the body of James Walton Jr., 25, in his bedroom with a hypodermic needle near his body, according to county officials.

Burlington County Medical Examiner Dr. Ian Hood reported the cause of death to be fentanyl toxicity. The investigation also reported that the heroin that killed Walton was purchased from Beckett.

County officials said that Beckett was then taken into custody in February at his residence by members of the Burlington County Sheriff’s Department Warrant Unit, the New Jersey State Police Fugitive Unit, the Prosecutor’s Office, the Mansfield Township Police Department and the Edgewater Park Township Police Department.

He has been in the Burlington County Jail since his arrest, according to county officials.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy Lackey. The investigation was conducted by the Mansfield Township Police Department, the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force and the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit.

Judge Philip E. Haines scheduled sentencing for Sept. 20.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Jeremy Lackey. The investigation was conducted by the Mansfield Township Police Department, the BCPO Gang, Gun and Narcotics Task Force and the BCPO High-Tech Crimes Unit.