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L.I. Man Charged With Killing Neighbor, Stuffing Body In Closet Pleads Not Guilty

DA: Aston Barth Tried To Cut Off Friend's Head, Hid Body For Nearly A Week
Aston Barth (credit: Suffolk County Police)

Aston Barth (credit: Suffolk County Police)

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CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) – A Suffolk County man has been arraigned on charges he allegedly killed a friend, tried to cut his head off with an ax and then hid the body in his bedroom closet for nearly a week.

Aston Barth was being held without bail after pleading not guilty to murdering next-door neighbor Jason Campbell.

1010 WINS’ Gene Michaels reports

Barth, 33, told investigators he choked Campbell, 35, while the two argued in Barth’s Central Islip bedroom on Dec. 18, Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Glenn Kurtzrock said.

Barth tried to slice off Campbell’s head but either decided against it or realized he couldn’t, the prosecutor said, noting that it wasn’t clear whether the victim was dead when Barth took an ax to his neck.

Barth wrapped the victim’s body in a blanket, put it in the closet and told his family, “‘Don’t go into my room,'” Kurtzrock said.

Meanwhile, some of Campbell’s friends went to Barth’s house, starting the day Campbell disappeared, to ask whether Barth knew where Campbell was, a friend said. The two had gone to high school together.

Barth has prior record on robbery charges. He spent three years behind bars starting in 2001.

In 2007, he was arrested for robbery after allegedly sticking up a Citibank in Central Islip while dressed as a woman. Barth was reportedly wearing a brown skirt suit, blond wig, sandals and makeup.

He was paroled in 2011.

Barth’s mother said her son has been mentally ill since childhood and recently refused to take his medication.

He has been working as a chef at a restaurant, his mother said. She said he had been upset recently about making child support payments.

If convicted, Barth could face up to 25 years to life in prison.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)