A judge has vacated part of a plea deal given to a man charged in the unprovoked fatal beating of a central New Jersey father who was attacked while walking with his family.

(Credit: ThinkStock)

State Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz issued his ruling Friday. He determined that Steven Contreras lied when he testified during the trial of two other defendants who were cleared of all major charges last fall.

Contreras eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated assault after a jury acquitted him of murder and aggravated manslaughter charges, but couldn't decide on manslaughter.

He was due to receive a 4-year state prison term, but authorities say he could now face up to 30 years in prison when he's sentenced March 7.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)