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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
November 16, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director


John R. Hagerty

Division of Criminal Justice and Roxbury Township PD Charge Morris County Woman in "Murder for Hire" Plot to Kill Estranged Husband’s Girlfriend and to Assault Husband

Morris County - Attorney General Peter C. Harvey announced that a Morris County woman has been arrested by State Investigators assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice and detectives from the Roxbury Township, Morris County, Police Department, on charges that she attempted to hire a "hitman" to murder her estranged husband’s girlfriend and to physically assault and intimidate the ex-husband.

According to Criminal Justice Director Vaughn L. McKoy and Roxbury Township Police Chief Mark Noll, Paula Seely-Minchala, 42, Ryerson Road, Landing, Roxbury Township, Morris County, was arrested at approximately 11:30 p.m. last night (Tues., Nov. 15) at her Ryerson Road residence on charges of attempted homicide, attempted aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit homicide, and conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. Seely-Minchala was lodged in the Morris County Jail in lieu of $50,000 cash bail set by Morris County Superior Court Judge Samuel Ahto. Seely-Minchala was arraigned before Judge Ahto earlier today (Wed., Nov. 16) on the criminal charges.

The arrest warrant and affidavit alleges that on Oct. 24, the Dover Township Police Department obtained information that Seely-Minchala had approached a juvenile in an attempt to have the juvenile assist in locating a "hitman" to kill Seely-Minchala’s estranged husband’s girlfriend and to assault and harm the husband. The Dover Township police contacted the Roxbury Township Police Department to advise of the alleged criminal plot. Subsequent investigation by the Roxbury Township Police Department and the Division of Criminal Justice - Organized Crime & Racketeering Bureau, determined that Seely-Minchala was a resident of Roxbury Township. On Oct. 26, an undercover Roxbury Township police officer, acting as a contact person to the prospective "hitman," contacted Seely-Minchala to make arrangements to locate and hire a "hitman."

On Nov. 1, an undercover State Investigator, posing as a "hitman" contacted Seely-Minchala to obtain personal information about the location, employment, and movements of the estranged husband and the girlfriend and to make arrangements regarding payment for the prospective murder and assault. On Nov. 14, investigators developed information that Seely-Minchala had made other arrangements to "take care of the problem." Concerned that the girlfriend and estranged husband were in danger, investigators and detectives secured an arrest warrant and located and arrested Seely-Minchala at her Roxbury Township residence.

The investigation was conducted by Roxbury Township police detectives Robert Herzog and Kevin Smith and State Investigator Richard Nocella assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice - Organized Crime & Racketeering Bureau. Supervising Deputy Attorney General Mark Eliades coordinated the prosecution. The investigation will be submitted to a State Grand Jury for potential indictment.

>> View Arrest Warrant (315k pdf) plugin

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