- Associated Press - Monday, February 8, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Three men charged in the death of a man found naked and beaten on a Newark street have pleaded not guilty to murder.

Eric Santiago, of Belleville, and Newark residents Jonathan Tejada and Edgardo Mendez entered their pleas Monday.

The three are charged in the death of 20-year-old Newark resident Robert Hayes, who was found by a passer-by last July in the city’s North Ward. He later died at a hospital.

Essex County prosecutors have said the series of events that led to Hayes’s death began when he allegedly was involved in a dispute with Santiago and Tejada, both of whom he knew.

Several hours later, Hayes, Santiago and Tejada allegedly had a “physical altercation.” Several hours later, the three suspects allegedly attacked Hayes, ultimately killing him.

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