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Man Accused In Fatal Beating Of Kean University Student Appears In Court

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NEW JERSEY (CBSNewYork) — The man accused of beating a 22-year-old Kean University student to death in New Brunswick, New Jersey made his first court appearance Wednesday.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reported, 38-year-old Timothy Puskas was out on bail, waiting for his trial in a hit-and-run case, when prosecutors say he not only violently attacked someone, but also brutally killed William McCaw behind a New Brunswick house that is home to many Rutgers students.

McCaw was attending a party at the home, visiting former fraternity brothers when he was attacked, Sloan reported.

“He was going from place to place having a good time enjoying his weekend when he came upon the defendant. When he came upon him his weekend ended. He was viciously attacked by this individual and left in the cold in the streets of New Brunswick,” assistant prosecutor Sheree Pitchford said in court.

“We waive the reading and enter a plea of not guilty,” Puskas’ attorney said.

While Puskas’ attorney tried to prevent a reading of the case in court, prosecutor Pitchford made sure to point out his criminal past.

“He also has an aggravated assault charge that was post this incident. He is a danger to the community,” Pitchford said.

Sources told CBS 2 Pitchford was referring to an incident when Puskas allegedly attacked someone with a hammer inside his Plum Street home, which is just a block away from where McCaw’s body was found.

Puskas was also out on bail at the time of the deadly beating, waiting for his trial in a hit-and-run case that killed a bicyclist, Sloan reported.

The bicyclist was Leonel Hernandez — a 26-year-old married father of two young children, CBS 2 previously reported. Hernandez’s wife was also pregnant at the time of his death.

“They just left him there. Somebody else called police,” relative Patricia Zarate said.

Investigators have not said what the motive was in McCaw’s murder, but Puskas allegedly hung out in and rented another home to some Rutgers students, one of which told Sloan she didn’t really seem like an upstanding guy.

Investigators said they have evidence, statements and surveillance video tape near the scene that links Puskas to the murder.

Puskas is being held on $5 million bail.

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