BRIDGEPORT – A former IT manager, who police say stood by and did nothing while his carer wife beat his disabled uncle to death, then backed him up with a lit cigarette in his hand on the porch to cover up the crime, now faces seven years in prison.

Brent Whiteman, 44, pleaded guilty on Wednesday under the Alford doctrine to second-degree manslaughter and two counts of risk of injury to a child.

Under the plea deal, he faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced by Superior Court Judge Kevin Russo on September 9.

A plea made under the Alford Doctrine means that Whiteman did not plead guilty, but admitted that he could be found guilty of the crime if tried. The judge then convicted him of the charges.

Whiteman’s wife, Tynisha Hall, a certified nursing aide, was sentenced in January to 15 years in prison for the 2017 death of her 61-year-old uncle, Robert Jones, of Hedgehog Circle in Trumbull.

During Wednesday’s hearing, State’s Attorney Joseph Corradino told the judge that Jones was abused by Hall in front of his children and that Whiteman “did nothing to mitigate or minimize the situation and was at home when the injuries were inflicted.

Whiteman, who has been in jail for more than two years awaiting trial in the case, did not comment.

He previously ran an IT business in Windsor where the couple lived with their three children before moving to Dover Street in Bridgeport in early 2017.

Shortly before 3.30pm on February 8, police say, medics were dispatched to the Dover Street property for a report of a man having a heart attack. When medics arrived, police say, they found Jones sitting in a chair with burns to his hand and knees from a cigarette. Police said it was apparent Jones had been dead for some time – his body was in rigor mortis.

Police said Jones had a large and a small laceration on the back of his head which the medical examiner said caused a large amount of bleeding, but no obvious blood was found in the Dover Street home . The autopsy also revealed that the victim’s lower limbs had burning burns.

Police said Hall told them she had brought her uncle to the Dover Street home to look after him.

Detectives then returned to the Dover Street home and this time sprayed the bathroom with BlueStar, a reagent used to find bloodstains that could have been washed away and were no longer visible to the naked eye.

The spray immediately illuminated the bathroom walls with a blue luminescence, indicating there was a blood splatter pattern that extended from the ceiling to the floor, police said.