Middlesex County News

Former Edison Police Officer Pleads Guilty In Attempted Murder Case

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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – Former Edison police officer Michael Dotro admitted he tried to kill a township police captain in 2013 by trying to burn down his Monroe home, officials said Monday.

Dotro, 40, of Manalapan, pleaded guilty Monday to a count of attempted murder in the first degree and one count of arson in the second degree when he set fire to his supervisor’s home in Monroe Township in 2013.

Because of the plea agreement he is set to be sentenced to 20 years in prison, having to serve at least 17 years of that as part of the No Early Release Act, the Middlesex Prosecutor’s Office said in a press release.

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According to police, Dotro tried starting the fire by throwing a Molotov Cocktail at the home where the officer and his family were sleeping in May 2013.

The residents of the home escaped unharmed, police said.

Dotro, beset by several criminal charges in a variety of cases, resigned from the Edison Police Department in September.

He also pleaded guilty Monday to a count of official misconduct and a count of conspiracy to tamper with a witness in a case currently being tried, the release said.

That charge was lodged last week, according to the prosecutor’s office.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 7 by Superior Court Judge Pedro Jimenez, the release said.

Dotro pleaded guilty in September in another case, that for conspiring against a North Brunswick police officer who ticketed a friend of Doro’s for drunk driving, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The case stems from a 2012 incident where a North Brunswick police officer arrested an individual for drunk driving, police said.

Dotro, who pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy in the case, knew the individual charged and admitted that he sought to retaliate against the North Brunswick officer for the arrest, according to police.

In addition, Dotro is also charged with slashing a township woman’s tires, having prohibited devices, possession of an imitation firearm, carrying brass knuckles, carrying a small club known as a “black jack,” possession of a small quantity of marijuana and possession of a device to smoke marijuana, all from a separate May 2013 incident, according to police.

The former police officer was charged during an extensive investigation by the Detective Bureau of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office; Detective Donald Heck and Detective Christopher Pennisi, the release said.

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