CAPE MAY, NJ — A man was sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison for killing his best friend by shooting cigarette butts at him with an antique-replica rifle.

Anthony Saduk Jr., 30, of Woodbine, pleaded guilty last month to aggravated assault. He was sentenced under the Graves Act, which requires criminals who use firearms to serve mandatory sentences.

Three cigarette butts pierced his ribcage and lodged over his heart.

First Assistant Prosecutor J. David Meyer said Wesley Geisinger, 31, was a willing participant in the prank that killed him.

"We have taken the position that the death itself was an accident, but it could not have occurred without the criminal conduct," Meyer told The Press of Atlantic City.

Geisinger, the father of two young girls, died at a Feb. 11 party held to break in Saduk's new pool table. Saduk loaded the rifle with black powder and cigarette butts, and fired at his co-worker.

Three butts penetrated Geisinger's ribcage and lodged above his heart. Saduk unsuccessfully tried to resuscitate him, while friends called 911.

"Wes was my brother," Saduk said at his sentencing. "I never intended anything to happen."


Less than a month later, after serving only three weeks of his sentence, Saduk had his sentence commuted, along with those of five others who had been found guilty of minor crimes, as acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco's left office. Saduk is the son of Woodbine's Republican Town Council president.

The father of the victim said he was glad that Saduk had been released from jail. "It was a tragic accident," said David Geisinger. "Nothing would come out of Smokey staying in jail. One life was lost and another life was ruined."