HAMMONTON, N.J. - Two southern New Jersey men have pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for setting another man on fire as he slept at a friend's home in what police described as a "prank that went terribly, terribly wrong."
The Atlantic County prosecutor said 23-year-old Brandon Perez of Hammonton and 24-year-old David Sult of Mays Landing entered the pleas Thursday in exchange for a recommendation of five-year sentences.
Authorities said the defendants originally maintained that the 27-year-old victim was burned accidentally by an electronic smoking device, but an investigation concluded that lighter fluid was sprayed on him and ignited.
Prosecutors said the victim had severe burns to his back. He told NJ Advance Media that he lost 30 pounds and endured multiple skin grafts and blood transfusions.
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