WILKES-BARRE — Mitchell Dede’s violent past could cost him as much as a half-century behind bars.
The Hazleton man will spend 25 to 50 years in prison for his role in the August 2012 death of 29-year-old Aaron Reznick following a drug deal gone bad, together with a second robbery in the city later the same month.
Dedes, 18, of West Hemlock Street, was sentenced Friday before Luzerne County Judge Richard M. Hughes III.
Investigators said Dedes and Breon Judon, 20, of North Lafayette Court, Hazleton, set up a deal to sell crack cocaine to Aaron Reznick, 29, of Hazleton, on Aug. 4, 2012.
Reznick did not have money but offered his iPhone to Dedes and Judon as collateral, authorities said. Not content with that, the pair ordered Reznick to strip and get into the trunk of his own vehicle.
Reznick, a senior chemist at Sanofi Pasteur in Swiftwater, managed to escape from the trunk on Carson Street in Hazleton, but prosecutors say Judon and Dedes caught him, then repeatedly kicked and stomped on their victim’s head.
Reznick died of his injuries nine days later at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Dedes pleaded guilty in August to third-degree murder, robbery and kidnapping.
Judon maintained Dedes was the guilty party, and that his only guilt was not calling the police. A jury last month found Judon guilty of second-degree murder and five other related charges. He faces life in prison on the second-degree murder charge at sentencing, which is scheduled for Dec. 9.
Dedes’ sentence included 20 to 40 years for third-degree murder, to run concurrently with a 2-to-4-year sentence for kidnapping to facilitate a felony and a 3-to-6-year concurrent sentence for felony robbery.
Dedes also faces a 5-to-10-year consecutive sentence for crimes committed on the night of Aug. 13-14, 2012, when Dedes stole cash, clothing and an iPhone during a Grant Street home invasion.
Witnesses told police how a man known as Mitchell, with a teardrop tattoo on his face, pulled out a large silver revolver and put it to one man’s head, telling people in the home to get down on the floor and empty their pockets.
The judge granted Dedes credit for 445 days of time already served.
Together with Judon, Dedes must make restitution of nearly $43,000, including more than $6,500 to Reznick’s family.