Death of Egg Harbor Township man found near Pleasantville strip club ruled accidental | Crime

An autopsy indicated that Irving Mayren-Guzman died of drowning and hypothermia while acutely intoxicated, according to attorneys for the men accused of his assault.

Mayren-Guzman, 19, went missing Jan. 23 and was found dead the morning of Jan. 25 in a marsh near Centerfolds Cabaret in Pleasantville, following an altercation with three men at the club.

Authorities have charged three men, brothers John and Garnell Hands, of Pleasantville, and Jamaul Timberlake, of Atlantic City, with aggravated assault and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault after Mayren-Guzman was found dead in marshes off Delilah Road.

After Mayren-Guzman was thrown out of the strip club by security for being too intoxicated, three men can be seen on surveillance video beating him, according to video shown at a detention hearing for the suspects in February.

The final autopsy indicates Mayren-Guzman suffered fresh minor abrasions to his face, arms and legs near the time of his death, the attorneys said. It does not show evidence that he had sustained a traumatic brain injury near the time of his death, Matthew Portella, attorney for John Hands, said Thursday. Another traumatic brain injury he had sustained was determined to have been from an older incident, Portella said.

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The report “just goes toward what we’ve been thinking all along that it was an accidental death. He had nothing to do with the fight earlier in the evening,” Portella said.

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Randolph Lafferty, an attorney representing the Mayren-Guzman family, said neither he nor the family of Mayren-Guzman has seen the autopsy or toxicology reports. Lafferty would not confirm, deny or comment on the cause of Mayren-Guzman’s death.

Portella and Durann Neil, who is representing Garnell Hands, said Thursday the autopsy is evidence their clients did not cause Mayren-Guzman’s death. The lawyers said they plan to ask for their clients’ release at a hearing 1:30 pm Wednesday before Superior Court Judge Nancy L. Ridgway.

During a status hearing June 15 at the Atlantic County Criminal Court Complex in Mays Landing, defense attorneys Portella and John Stein, the lawyer for Timberlake, raised questions about the autopsy, which had not yet been made available, five months after Mayren-Guzman’s death .

Stein could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.

Last week, a status conference was postponed by Ridgway, who wanted the autopsy report to be released before the case continued. The suspects are expected to appear in person Wednesday.

Since Mayren-Guzman’s death, his family, friends and the Latino community in Pleasantville have rallied together demanding justice and transparency in the teenager’s case. After a month of protests by those seeking justice for Mayren-Guzman, Pleasantville City Council voted to revoke the mercantile licenses of Centerfolds on Feb. 23. His family also has filed a lawsuit against the club, the three suspects and others in connection to his death.

Staff Writers Selena Vazquez and Eric Conklin contributed to this report.

Contact Eric Conklin:

609-272-7261

econklin@pressofac.com

Twitter @ACPressConklin

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