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Third teen pleads guilty to killing homeless man

A third teenager pleaded guilty yesterday to beating a homeless man to death last summer as he slept on a park bench in Camden.

Jordan Pabon, 16, of Pennsauken, pleaded guilty in Superior Court in Camden to aggravated manslaughter in the death of John Anthony Smith, 54.

Two other teens, James Monroe, 18, of Pennsauken, and a 16-year-old from Camden, have already admitted taking part in the killing. Another, 15-year-old Mark Hopkins of Pennsauken, is awaiting trial in Superior Court.

Authorities say the four teens came upon Smith as he slept in a park of Federal Street in August 2007, and that they decided on a whim to punch, kick and beat him with a pipe. Smith died of his injuries 18 days later at Cooper University Hospital in Camden. Pabon is expected to be sentenced next month.

- Allison Steele