Aston Barth, of Central Islip, pleads guilty to killing neighbor Jason Campbell

Prosecutors say Aston Barth, 33, admitted to choking Campbell during an argument and they say he tried to dismember Campbell's body with an ax. (1/28/14)

CENTRAL ISLIP - The man accused of killing and trying to dismember his childhood friend has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.  News 12 Long Island has learned the plea was part of a deal with the district attorney.

Aston Barth is accused of killing of his neighbor Jason Campbell and hiding his body in a closet in 2012. 

Prosecutors say Barth, 40, admitted to choking Campbell during an argument. They say after Campbell died, Barth tried to dismember his body with an ax. 

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A medical examiner determined that Campbell's cause of death was an ax wound to the neck.

Authorities say he stashed the body in his bedroom closet for a week before it was discovered.  All the while, they say Barth was going to work as a cook in a restaurant and telling friends that he had no idea what had happened to Campbell.

Barth also has a lengthy criminal history. 

News 12 covered a story on Barth in 2007 when he was arrested for a bank robbery while dressed as a woman. Barth was paroled three months before the murder happened.

Barth's mother tells News 12 her son has been battling mental illness since he was a child.

Barth is expected to receive 15 to life in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 26. The plea came as the trial was getting underway.

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