Posted Dec 13, 2011 12:08 pm CST
As he was sentenced to life Friday in federal court in Camden, N.J., 39-year-old Derrick Menter insisted he is innocent of plotting to kill the chief federal district court judge in New Jersey.
Menter, who will not be eligible for parole, was convicted in July in a murder conspiracy in which he and another man sought $100,000 to murder U.S. District Judge Garrett Brown Jr., according to evidence in the case, reports Reuters.
Menter was jailed at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution at the time of the plot. An informant testified against him and there were also audio recordings. However, his lawyer argued that Menter was simply trying to get money out of the informant. A wealthy white-collar criminal, the informant supposedly was to pay $100,000 for the hit on Brown but instead revealed the plot to authorities and got a lighter sentence, the article explains.
The case was tried in federal court in Camden, N.J. But because the target was a federal judge in New Jersey, both the federal prosecutors who tried it and the federal judge who oversaw it were brought in from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Brown plans to step down in January, when he is eligible to retire, although he may remain on the bench as a senior judge, the Star-Ledger reported in July.