Convict Charged with Planning Murder of OC Prosecutor Who Sent Him Away
The man convicted in the gunshot death of his neighbor in Little Egg Harbor five years ago now goes back to court - charged with planning to kill the lawyer who prosecuted the case for Ocean County.
Jay Goldberg's case will be heard in Monmouth County Superior Court in Freehold, according to information from the office of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato. Opening statements begin Monday.
Goldberg,64, is accused of trying to arrange former Supervising County Prosecutor Steven N. Cucci's murder while in the Ocean County Jail in Toms River in May and June 2012. He was headed for sentencing for aggravated manslaughter in the 2009 death of Sarkis Shahinian.
Goldberg claimed self-defense in pumping five shots from a .45-caliber Glock into Shahinian in his house on Water Edge Drive. Prosecutors contended that Goldberg and Shahinian's girlfriend Cathy Blair maintained marijuana farms in the basements of each of their homes in Little Egg Harbor.
The verdicts for manslaughter and drug manufacturing were delivered in March 2012. Just over two months later, Cucci received a message from an Ocean County Jail inmate claiming to have been solicited by Goldberg to kill him before sentencing, authorities said.
A detective from the Monmouth County Prosecutor's office went undercover in the jail in June 2012 and recorded incriminating conversations with Goldberg, authorities said.
Later the same month, Goldberg was given 20- and 10-year concurrent sentences for the charges. He's serving his time in South Woods State Prison.
Cucci retired in January of this year.