A 16-year-old Camden youth charged in the August beating death of a homeless man who was sleeping on a park bench pleaded guilty to murder yesterday.

The teenager was sentenced to 14 years in a state correctional facility by Juvenile Court Judge Charles Dortch Jr.

He has not been identified because of his age.

The youth and three Pennsauken teens were charged with kicking, punching and savagely beating John Anthony Smith, 53, with the victim's cane in Johnson Cemetery Park in Camden around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 30.

Smith, who was also known as John Lester, died from his injuries at Cooper University Hospital 18 days later.

Police have said the youths attacked the man on a dare.

Codefendant Mark Hopkins, 15, agreed yesterday to waive jurisdiction in juvenile court and to be tried as an adult. He will be arraigned today.

Hearings to waive the other codefendants to adult court are pending.

They are 16 and 18 and are also charged with conspiracy to murder the Camden youth who was sentenced after he gave a confession and was being held in the Camden County Youth Detention Center.

Contact staff writer Jan Hefler at 856-779-3224 or jhefler@phillynews.com.