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NJ Man Charged In Attorney Murder Plot Nears Trial 

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(Credit: Thinkstock)

(Credit: Thinkstock)

FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — Opening statements are scheduled to begin this week in the trial of a New Jersey man charged with plotting to have a county prosecutor murdered.

Jay Goldberg will go before a jury in Monmouth County on charges of attempted murder and murder conspiracy.

Goldberg, formerly of Little Egg Harbor, is already in prison serving a 20-year sentence for the killing of another man in April 2009.

He was convicted in 2012 of killing Sarkis Shahinian, with whom he operated a marijuana growing facility. Prosecutors had claimed Goldberg purposely shot the 40-year-old Shahinian as they argued in Goldberg’s home, where the drug production facility was based.

But defense lawyers said Goldberg had acted in self-defense after a drunk and belligerent Shahinian showed up at the residence in the middle of night. Goldberg was convicted of aggravated manslaughter but acquitted of murder.

A few months after Goldberg’s conviction and while he was awaiting sentencing, an inmate in the Ocean County jail contacted authorities and said Goldberg had solicited him to murder Supervising Ocean County Prosecutor Steven Cucci. Prosecutors say an undercover detective subsequently recorded incriminating conversations with Goldberg.

Cucci retired from the Ocean County prosecutor’s office in January.

His attorney couldn’t be reached for comment by phone Saturday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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