HAMILTON — A 53-year-old man convicted decades ago for killing a drug dealer was found shot to death Thursday morning in a Mercer County apartment.

Mercer County Prosecutor's Office spokeswoman Casey DeBlasio said Michael DiMattia was shot to death multiple times in his residence at the Victoria Apartments on Estates Boulevard.

DeBlasio said an autopsy on DiMattia is scheduled for Friday.

Brian McCarthy, a freelance photojournalist who was on the scene, said there was a large police presence in the early afternoon with Estates Bourlevard completely closed between Olden Avenue and Kuser Road.

DiMattia, also known as "Mickey Rome" and "Mickey Capone," was a sports star in high school but his later life was plagued by drugs and crime. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of a drug dealer in 1990 and weapons and drug charges in later years.

His attorney, Jerome Ballarotto, says DiMattia worked in the check-cashing business and was loved by many, including a long-term girlfriend. He suspects that drugs may have played a role in DiMattia's death.

A federal judge in 2011 sentenced him to 44 months in prison and three years of supervised release with drug rehab and mental health treatment after being charged in 2009 with drug use and weapons possession by a felon.

The Trentonian reported in 2009 that DiMattia told Trenton police that he needed the three handguns they found on him because "they all want to f--ing kill me after I killed that kid," referring to the drug dealer he killed years before.

In 2013 he was released on probation to attend an inpatient drug treatment facility. He immediately violated parole and was arrested again days later, court records show.

He was hauled into federal court again last year after testing positive for cocaine use. But a federal judge in January sentenced him to time served.

DiMattia's death is the second in Hamilton in the past five months. Jessica Prusik-Martinez was found dead in John Roebling Memorial Park last October.

Anyone with information about DiMattia's death should call the Mercer County Homicide Task Force at 609-610-6406 or the Trenton Crime Stoppers tip line at 609-278-8477. Tips can also be texted with a message labeled TCSTIPS to Crime Stoppers at 274637.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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