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Ridge man pleads guilty in Hicksville motel murder, DA says

Vincent Dalton from Ridge leaves Nassau Police headquarters

Vincent Dalton from Ridge leaves Nassau Police headquarters on Nov. 23, 2016 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Ridge man pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder in the 2016 fatal beating of a 39-year-old man whose body was found tied up in a Hicksville motel room, according to the Nassau district attorney’s office.

Authorities said Vincent Dalton, 52, admitted to a second-degree murder charge in the slaying of Erik O’Connell of East Meadow, who died of blunt force trauma to his head.

Court records show Nassau County Supervising Judge Teresa Corrigan is planning to sentence Dalton in March to 23 years to life in prison under the terms of his guilty plea.

Police have said a member of the motel’s cleaning staff found the victim’s body at about 1 p.m. on Nov. 19, 2016, after going into a room with her key when knocks went unanswered.

Surveillance video showed Dalton and O’Connell going into the motel room together at 11:45 p.m. on Nov. 18, 2016, according to prosecutors.

They said more video depicted the two men entering and leaving a nearby Hicksville bar together on Nov. 19, and Dalton leaving the motel alone at 3 a.m. that day with items authorities believe the victim owned. Dalton later tried to use O’Connell’s credit cards at a fast food restaurant and a Brentwood deli, according to authorities.

Days later, police arrested Dalton on a murder charge, saying he was on parole and may have known the victim less than 24 hours. Police also said they believed the two men likely had been drinking at a bar before they both “willingly went” to the motel together.

Dalton’s Garden City attorney, Brian Carmody, declined to comment Wednesday.

Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement that Dalton “tied up and brutally murdered” the victim before stealing his credit cards, and he’d been brought “to justice” thanks to surveillance video and good police work.

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