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Man likely to plead guilty in shovel assault

A suspect accused of kidnapping and assaulting another man could face an uphill battle in his criminal defense - he allegedly uploaded a video of the assault to Facebook. The man, age 26, faces felony charges for his involvement in the incident, which reportedly included kidnapping, robbery, sexual contact and weapons offenses. He is accused of striking his victim in the head with a shovel, causing him to lose consciousness, before stripping and robbing the man.

The 29-year-old victim was found near the suspect's home at about 7:40 a.m. on Nov. 18, according to official documents. He was covered in blood, and he had sustained injuries to several areas on his face. The two men reportedly lived in the same building.

The suspect in the case is accused of striking the man in the head with a shovel before hauling him into an apartment with two other men. While the man was unconscious, the suspects stripped him and videotaped the episode. The man is accused of stealing $600 and the man's cell phone while the tape was still rolling.

Authorities report that the man has admitted to all of the charges. He was presented with the Facebook video during questioning. The man is currently being held on a $250,000 bond in connection with the case.

The man's criminal defense was significantly altered by the fact that he decided to videotape his activities. It is possible that the man could have successfully avoided conviction through a jury trial, but he will be forced to plead guilty at this point because of the significant evidence that implicates him in the crime.

A guilty plea is likely to lead to a lower sentence than that decided during a jury trial, but the man's lawyers must still negotiate with prosecuting attorneys. It seems unlikely that the man will avoid jail altogether because of the severity of his crimes, but attorneys may be able to lessen the prison sentence by compromising for longer probation.

Source: The Jersey Journal, "Man knocked out with shovel, then stripped, robbed and videotaped; 1 charged: cops," Michaelangelo Conte, Jan. 28, 2013.

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