- Associated Press - Saturday, June 28, 2014

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey man already behind bars has been convicted of plotting to kill the prosecutor who put him there.

A jury in Monmouth County convicted Jay Goldberg of conspiracy and attempted murder on Friday after a five-day trial.

The 64-year-old former Little Egg Harbor resident is already serving a 20-year sentence after being convicted of killing his neighbor, with whom he had a marijuana-growing business, in 2009.

Prosecutors contended that while Goldberg was in jail awaiting sentencing after his 2012 trial, he arranged with another inmate and a third person, whom he thought was a hit man, to kill assistant Ocean County Prosecutor Steven Cucci. The alleged hit man was actually an undercover detective from the Monmouth County prosecutor’s office.

Cucci, who has since retired from the prosecutor’s office, testified he received a letter from the inmate reporting that Goldberg had asked for help having Cucci killed.

When Goldberg met the purported hit man, prosecutors said, he gave the man a letter to give to Goldberg’s sister and brother asking for $15,000. Their conversation was recorded.

Goldberg testified at the trial that he never intended to hurt Cucci and said he was coerced. His attorney contended that Goldberg never took enough steps to complete the crimes he was charged with.

Goldberg is scheduled for sentencing in September.

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