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APNewsBreak: NJ man pleads guilty to murdering 5 teens in '78 by locking them in burning house
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) ' A New Jersey man has pleaded guilty to murdering five teenagers in 1978 in what was one of the state's longest-running cold cases.
Philander Hampton, of Jersey City, made his plea in court in Newark on Tuesday.
Hampton told police three years ago that he and another man lured the teens to an abandoned house in Newark with the promise of odd jobs, then locked them inside and set the house on fire.
The attack allegedly was prompted by stolen drugs.
Melvin Pittman, Ernest Taylor, Alvin Turner, Randy Johnson and Michael McDowell were last seen on a busy street near a park where they had played basketball on Aug. 20, 1978.
Lee Evans, the other man charged in the murders, is scheduled to go to trial this fall.