Centereach man pleads guilty to manslaughter for fatal beating in 2020

Centereach man pleads guilty to manslaughter for fatal beating in 2020

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John Mann IV

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced on March 17 that John Mann IV, age 20, of Centereach, pleaded guilty to Manslaughter in the First Degree for the premeditated fatal beating of Henry Hernandez, age 16, of Hempstead, whose skeletal remains were found in Centereach in March 2020.

“The violent end of this young victim’s life and the way his body was disposed of shows the coldhearted and brutal nature of the defendant,” said District Attorney Tierney. “What makes this murder even more sad is that the victim Henry was only 16 years old and had his whole life ahead of him.”

According to court documents and Mann’s admissions during his guilty plea allocution, on March 15, 2020, skeletal remains were discovered in a plastic tub on the property of Mann IV’s neighbor. The remains were wrapped in two separate plastic bags. When the skeletal remains were further examined, it was discovered that the hands and feet were bound with duct tape, and the head and mouth were wrapped in duct tape. DNA tests determined that the skeletal remains were that of 16- year-old Henry Hernandez.

A subsequent police investigation established that Mann and Hernandez became acquaintances in March 2019. A short time later, Hernandez went to Mann’s home located on Jay Road in Centereach and stole his father’s truck. On or around June 2, 2019, Mann lured Hernandez to a location known as the “Sand Pit,” where he duct-taped the victim and struck him multiple times with a blunt object. Mann placed Hernandez’s body in a hole on his property and covered it with debris. The defendant later moved Hernandez’ skeletal remains into a plastic tub and placed it on his next-door neighbor’s property, where it was ultimately recovered on March 15, 2020.

On March 17, 2023, Mann pleaded guilty before Acting Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Anthony S. Senft, Jr., to Manslaughter in the First Degree, a Class B violent felony and Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Class E felony. He is due back in court on April 19, 2023 for sentencing, and is expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by five years’ of post-release supervision.

Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.

Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.

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