Ray Cooley, 25, was on probation at the time he allegedly murdering William Fitzsimmons.
Cooley reportedly assaulted Fitzsimmons during the burglary. The elderly victim died about two weeks later in the hospital.
The crime occurred in Newark, NJ and the plea was reported Dec. 18, 2015.
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According to a NorthJersey.com report, Cooley allegedly disabled Fitzsimmons's phones and bound his hands with household materials before ultimately cutting him loose. During the burglary, the house was ransacked, and costume jewelry was allegedly stolen, the report states.
Cooley has allegedly admitted to his involvement in the incident and also said he had previously shoveled snow at Fitzsimmons's house, the report states.
Fitzsimmons – who lived in Belleville for more than 60 years – had been a manager with Wakefern Food Corporation in Secaucus, before retiring, and he previously worked for Breyer's Ice Cream in Newark, according to his obituary. He also was a retired Army National Guard captain, the obituary states.
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