A Pleasantville man has pleaded guilty in the killing of a woman whose remains were found in a suitcase more than four years ago.
Steven Stallworth, 31, was set to go to trial Monday in the death of 30-year-old Tara Rogers-Alicea, but instead pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and desecration of human remains. In exchange for his guilty plea, Stallworth faces a 28-year sentence.
The Gloucester County mother of three had been reported missing in October of 2013. Her decomposed remains were found Jan. 9, 2014, by an off-duty Margate police sergeant who found the bag while he was hunting there.
Tattoos from her foot and wrist were used to identify Rogers-Alicea.
Stallworth, then 27, that August, and has been jailed on $2 million bail.
An autopsy determined the woman was killed at least a month before her body was found. She died of asphyxiation by strangulation.
During his first appearance on the charges, Stallworth closed his eyes and shook his head no as the judge read the complaint against him.
Rogers-Alicea was known to frequent Atlantic City and battled drug addiction.
She had been arrested in the area the July before she was killed, on a warrant out of Gloucester County. She then failed to appear in court there on a heroin charge that September.
Rogers-Alicea left behind three daughters, then 12, 9 and 8.
Stallworth would have to complete at least 85 percent of any sentence under the No Early Release Act.
His sentencing is set for Aug. 14.