Monmouth Murder Defendants Drop Courtroom Bombshell
Kathleen Dorsett, formerly married to 42-year-old Stephen Moore, and her father Thomas pleaded guilty to murder.
Thomas Dorsett also took a guilty plea to arson for hire. Her mother, Leslie, pleaded guilty to conspiracy.
Prosecutors in Monmouth County Superior Court are recommending 58 years in prison for Kathleen Dorsett, with no parole consideration until 51 years are served.
The former elementary school teacher, visibly distraught, told the court that she directed Moore to their yard where her father waited to kill him. She admitted helping load his body into the trunk of the car.
Prosecutors are suggesting a 50-year prison sentence for Thomas Dorsett, with parole eligibility after 30 years. Dorsett admitted to using a "cable" to hit Moore over the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on a 2 by 4. Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutors Marc C. LeMieux said their accounts of Thomas Dorsett's says it's not a "cable" in the common sense of the term.
"I don't know if I'd define it as a 'cable', It was a long cylinder-type object. It was metal and there was rope also found at the scene."
Thomas Dorsett also claimed his murder was fueled by a belief that Stephen Moore was an unfit father and husband, as described by Kathleen.
"Stephen Moore's behavior as it was documented by Thomas, our evidence is inconsistent with that. And at the time we argue this at sentencing, I will make sure everyone knows that," says LeMieux.
Leslie Dorsett faces a possible prison term of up to eight years, with parole consideration after seven years are served.
LeMieux notes the goals of the plea was to keep Kathleen, Thomas, and Leslie off the street for as along as possible.
"If you look at Kathleen she's going to serve 51 years before she would even be eligible for parole. The fact that she is 38 now, and will be 39 shortly, would put her at 90 years of age before she is even eligible for parole."
Evelyn Moore, the mother of Stephen and the woman whom Kathleen and Leslie tried to hire a hit man to kill, spoke after the Dorsett's plead guilty.
"I'm satisfied today as I will ever be, and I feel Stephen has gotten justice."
Sentencing will take place August 8th.
Tom Mongelli and the Associated Press contributed to this story