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Philly Man Pleads Guilty to Killing his Brother at Harrah's Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City

MAYS LANDING – A 39 year-old Philadelphia man has pleaded guilty in the 2019, bludgeoning death of his younger brother that occurred at Harrah’s Hotel and Casino in

Atlantic City, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner announced.

John A. Villante pleaded guilty today in an open plea to first-degree Aggravated Manslaughter.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 26, 2020 before Presiding Judge Bernard DeLury.

On May 28, 2019, at approximately 3:10 p.m., Harrah’s Hotel security was contacted in reference to a medical emergency in a room on the 11th floor of the Harrah’s Hotel.  The victim, identified as 32 year-old Joseph Villante, of Philadelphia, PA, was transported to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Division where he was pronounced deceased. Atlantic City Police responded and notified the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit, and a cooperative investigation commenced.

An autopsy was completed by the Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office and the cause of death was ruled to be multiple injuries, including blunt force injuries of the head.  The manner of death was determined to be homicide

An investigation led to the arrest of Joseph Villante’s brother, John A. Villante and he was arrested on May 30, 2019, without incident in Philadelphia, PA, with the assistance of the Philadelphia Police Homicide Fugitive Squad and the Philadelphia Highway Patrol.  He is lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility.

Assistant Prosecutor Rick McKelvey represents the state in this matter.


Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.