Prosecutor: Accused NJ killer plotted copycat murder from prison
A New Jersey man accused of brutally killing his co-worker in her own Plainsboro apartment now is accused of trying to plot another murder in an effort to clear his name.
Kenneth Saal, formerly of Lindenwold, has remained in jail since his August 2019 arrest when he was 30 years old.
Two months before his arrest, 26-year-old Carolyn Byington had been found beaten and stabbed to death after Plainsboro police were asked to do a wellness check at her residence when she never returned to work from a lunch break.
Saal — who was married with a young child at the time — was later indicted on charges of first-degree murder, second-degree burglary and third-degree counts of endangering an injured victim, hindering one’s own apprehension, burglary and possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.
He also faced fourth-degree counts of stalking and tampering with evidence.
Saal was linked to Byington's death through DNA evidence, according to MyCentralJersey, which also said that Saal had been seen around the apartment complex in the days before the killing.
He had worked as a staff accountant at the same Princeton-based company where Byington was a market research project manager.
Following the killing, other co-workers said that Saal had asked someone “unprompted” if he could be arrested “based on circumstantial evidence alone,” the Courier-Post reported citing an affidavit of probable cause.
Saal has remained in Middlesex County jail as he approaches a December trial date.
Copycat murder charge
Around Oct. 13, the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office received a letter that said that Saal was plotting out a “copycat murder” to create doubt about his guilt in the Byington killing.
Investigators found that Saal had offered $15,000 to an inmate, who he believed was being released from jail in the near future, in exchange for that man carrying out a murder to try and clear Saal’s name.
Saal has now been charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, second-degree conspiracy to tamper with a witness and second-degree conspiracy to hinder his own prosecution.
He has been scheduled for a detention hearing in Middlesex County Superior Court on Friday.
Anyone with information related to the investigation can call Detective Kelley of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at 732-745-3330.