- Associated Press - Saturday, February 8, 2014

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) - A man accused of killing his neighbor after she rebuffed his romantic advances has pleaded guilty to murder and other charges.

Middlesex County prosecutors say 36-year-old Robert Hayes Jr. of Perth Amboy faces a 30-year sentence with no chance for parole when he’s sentenced April 21.

Hayes interrupted his murder trial this week to make the plea. Besides the murder count, he also pleaded guilty to burglary, aggravated arson and desecration of human remains in the April 2010 death of 52-year-old Petra Rohrbaugh.

In pleading guilty, Hayes said he intended to kill Rohrbaugh when he broke into her Old Bridge home. He then strangled her before setting fire to her bed.

Hayes could have faced a life sentence if convicted at trial.

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