A Pennsauken man charged with slaying his teenage niece and dumping her body into an icy creek faces a 30-year prison sentence after pleading guilty last week to her murder.
Christopher Mikels, 29, admitted to Superior Court Judge Anthony Pugliese on Friday that he and Douglas Mandichak plotted to kill Felicia Mikels, 17, who was the mother of his infant daughter.
Mandichak, 27, pleaded guilty to murder in February and received a 30-year sentence in April.
In his plea Friday, Mickels said that on Jan. 19, 2008, he sent his niece a series of text messages luring her to a bowling alley two blocks from her Pennsauken home, said Jason Laughlin, spokesman for the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.
Mickels said he and his buddy took the young mother and her five-week-old baby to a nearby industrial complex. In the parking lot, Mandichak beat her to death with a 4-by-4 piece of wood, Laughlin said.
Authorities at the time said that she was killed in a dispute over money.
The men wrapped the teenager's body in a tarp and drove to Cinnaminson, where they dumped it off the Fork Landing Road bridge into Pennsauken Creek.
Authorities at the time said the men argued over whether the baby also should be killed. Instead they abandoned the child, unharmed, in her carseat on the front lawn of a home in Cherry Hill. A passing motorist found her early the next morning.
The men tried to hide the murder by sending text messages from Felicia Mikels' cell phone to her relatives saying that she had run away, but family members called police and reported her missing.
Mandichak and Mickels confessed after questioning and led investigators to where they dumped the teen's body.