NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A city man arrested in a November assault that led to the death of an acquaintance pleaded not guilty at arraignment, although authorities contend he confessed to the fatal beating, according to a report in

Bail was set at $1 million for Larry Byrd, 40, of Wright Place, who is suspected in the beating death of Lenny Jackson, 38, of Seaman Street on Nov. 17, 2010. He entered a plea at court proceedings on Jan. 20.

Police responding to a 911 call found Jackson beaten and unconscious outside a house on Delavan Street, he said.

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Following the assault, Jackson was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick and later transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Edison, where he died on Dec. 20, 2010, police said.

An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that the victim died from complications from injuries sustained in the assault.

A public defender representing Byrd contended in court that Jackson died after contracting an infection while hospitalized.

In calling for the high bail, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office told the court that Byrd confessed to the assault during questioning by police.  

An investigation showed Byrd assaulted the victim outside the house, authorities said, and a murder charge was filed against him on Jan. 14. Byrd remained at large until his arrest at a motel on Route 35 in Middletown Township.

An investigation by New Brunswick Detective Kenneth Abode Middlesex County Investigator Michael Daniewicz led to Byrd’s arrest shortly after 1 p.m. on Jan. 19.