A New Jersey woman faces murder charges after allegedly enlisting her son and his friend to brutally kill her daughter and husband 25 years ago by promising them a cut of his life-insurance policy.
Dolores Morgan, 66, and her 47-year-old son, Ted Connors, were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday evening on seven counts, including murder and conspiracy, in relation to the 1994 stabbing death of Ana Mejia and the fatal shooting of Nicholas Connors in May 1995, the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office told The Daily Beast.
Prosecutors allege that while Connors murdered his father and sister with his best friend, Jose Carrero, Morgan was the true mastermind behind the scheme. After her husband was killed, Morgan allegedly collected a $200,000 life-insurance policy and moved to Florida with her son.
“Killing for money and drugs, the state’s position, you cannot get more violent,” prosecutor Meghan Doyle said at the pair’s detention hearing after their original arrest in January. “[Morgan] has done nothing but hide her involvement and manipulate the system to ensure she was protected.”
Last week, Carrero, 48, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit murder, admitting that both murder plots were hatched on Morgan’s New Jersey kitchen table and that he had witnessed both of the slayings. He is expected to be sentenced to up to 20 years in state prison for his role in the gruesome schemes and has agreed to testify against his former accomplices.
Carrero told Superior Court Judge Ellen Torregrossa-O’Connor in February that Morgan offered him up to $3,000 to kill her daughter, Meija, because she believed the 24-year-old had alerted police about her drug dealing, according to the Asbury Park Press.
The 48-year-old admitted he held Mejia down and covered her face with his hand, while Connors stabbed his sister to death. Her two children, ages 3 and 1 at the time, were present at the apartment but were left unharmed.
Mejia, 24, was found dead inside her Long Branch apartment on Dec. 8, 1994, where she had been stabbed 23 times, authorities said. A white substance was found smeared across her mouth and nose—which was eventually determined to be baby formula, prosecutors said.
Five months later, Carrero said Morgan asked for his help again: to help her son murder her husband so they collect his life-insurance policy.
Prosecutors said that Nicolas Connors, 51, was found dead on a sofa in his Long Branch home with “multiple gunshot wounds to the head” on May 14, 1995. According to Carrero, Conners retrieved a gun and cut a hole through the screen door to make the crime look like a robbery gone wrong.
“Dolores Connors wanted him killed for insurance purposes,”' Carrero said.
After the murder, Morgan allegedly cashed the $200,000 insurance policy—which Carrero said she originally believed was worth $1 million—and moved with her son to Florida.
Morgan, Connors, and his then-girlfriend traveled to the Dominican Republic after the second murder, prosecutors said. During the trip, Connors’ ex-girlfriend told authorities that Morgan said, “We already have two deaths on our hands. We can’t afford another. We can’t afford the police snooping around our house again.”
Morgan’s attorney, Jason Seidman, told The Daily Beast on Thursday his client has been cooperative with police “to help capture the killer or killers who took her husband and daughter” and maintains “her innocence as she has for over 25 years.”
“She has waited for 25 years to have those responsible brought to justice,” he said, noting that while he normally does not comment on ongoing cases, the state’s decision to put “every moment of this case before the media thus far” has compelled him to speak out.
Seidman insisted that Carrero’s “completely inconsistent” confession does not accurately state the chain of events.
“They have chosen to run with his story, and turn a blind eye to facts and reason,” he said. “There are no less than 8 people who had either greater motive or better opportunity to commit these murders, including several drug dealers who were out large amounts of money or drugs, based upon the actions of the victim and her boyfriend one week prior to her murder.”