Criminal Justice

Unhappy with child-custody award, woman and parents plotted to murder her ex-husband and his mom


A former elementary school teacher and her father pleaded guilty Thursday to their admitted roles in a plot to murder her former husband because they were unhappy with a child-custody award in the couple’s divorce case.

Then, after onetime third-grade teacher Kathleen Dorsett was arrested in the 2010 slaying of Stephen Moore, her mother, Lesley Dorsett, met with the jailed woman to plot the slaying of the dead victim’s mother, according to the Asbury Park Press and the Associated Press.

“The goal was to kill (her) because we were afraid she was going to testify,” Lesley Dorsett told a New Jersey judge during a hearing in Freehold. The Dorsetts also were reportedly unhappy because Evlyn Moore was awarded custody of her young granddaughter after the murder of her son.

However, Evlyn Moore was not harmed and attended Thursday’s court hearing. “I’m as satisfied today as I will ever be,” she told reporters afterward. “I feel that Stephen has gotten justice today.”

Lesley Dorsett, a former member of the Ocean Township school board, pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to commit murder. Her husband and daughter pleaded guilty to murder and other charges.

The plot unraveled after Lesley Dorsett handed over an envelope filled with cash to the hit man she thought she was hiring to kill Evlyn Moore. In fact, he was an undercover cop who had been tipped by Kathleen Dorsett’s cellmate, according to the newspaper articles.

Prosecutors are expected to recommended an eight-year prison term for Lesley Dorsett, and 58 years, with no parole for at least 51 years, for her 38-year-old daughter, when the two are sentenced in August along with Thomas Dorsett, 66. He faces a potential 50-year sentence, with no parole for 30 years.

See also:

Asbury Park Press: “Inmate can testify about talks with woman charged with killing ex-husband”

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