A 27-year-old man has been charged with murder for allegedly beating a man to death with a baseball bat last week in Burlington County, authorities said Wednesday.
Larry Brown was taken into custody after a barricade and alleged hostage situation on June 14 at a Beverly City home where police found the body of Cecilio Luciano, 34, of Highland Park in Middlesex County.
Brown, who lived with a relative in Burlington Township, initially was charged with kidnapping and weapons offenses and was being held at the Burlington County Jail pending a court appearance.
Brown was charged with first-degree murder and related offenses as a result of the ongoing investigation, Burlington County Prosecutor LaChia L. Bradshaw and Beverly City Public Safety Director Rich Wolbert said in a statement.
Police were told around 1:15 a.m. June 14 that Luciano had been killed inside a Bentley Avenue home in Beverly City. Police also learned that a woman and four children were present in the home.
Bradshaw said Brown refused to leave the property, but the women and children were able to exit over the next several hours. Brown finally came out around 8:30 a.m. and was taken into custody, Bradshaw said.
Police initially were told that Luciano had been fatally shot, but an autopsy determined he had been bludgeoned to death, Bradshaw said.