SOUTH BRUNSWICK – A township man has — for the second time — been found guilty by a jury of strangling his parents, whose bodies he and his girlfriend stuffed into garbage bags and left in a park.

A Middlesex County jury this week found Michael A. Maltese, 29, guilty of passion provocation manslaughter in the 2008 deaths of Michael J. Maltese, 58, and Kathleen Maltese, 53.

Maltese already had been found guilty of killing his parents after a 2011 trial in which his girlfriend admitted to holding down his mother while he killed his father. She said she then did nothing while Maltese strangled the life out of his mother as well.

But the state Supreme Court in 2015 threw out the murder and homicide convictions because police had tricked Maltese into confessing to his uncle at the police station by lying to Maltese that their recording devices were turned off.

After the first conviction, he was sentenced to 64 years in prison. With the new conviction, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Supreme Court did not overturn his convictions for hindering prosecution, theft by unlawful taking, fraudulent use of credit card, tampering with evidence, false swearing, and desecration of human remains

Prosecutors say Maltese turned on his father after an altercation.

He and his sister reported their parents missing on Oct. 17, 2008, nine days after Maltese and his girlfriend, Nicole Taylor, had killed the couple.

(NJ Department of Corrections)

Maltese and Taylor then stole the couple’s credit cards and ran up $27,000 debt.

A week after notifying police, Maltese confessed and led police to his parents’ shallow grave at Beech Woods Park.

Taylor pleaded guilty to two counts of manslaughter and is serving a 10-year sentence.

An appellate decision had held up Maltese’s original conviction because the trial judge had not allowed the jury to hear his original taped confession.

But the Supreme Court later said the second confession could not be used either because it had been the “the fruit of the unconstitutionally obtained statement to his uncle.”

Maltese will be sentenced May 25 by Superior Court Judge Joseph Rea, sitting in New Brunswick.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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