TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Authorities in New Jersey say a Pennsylvania woman has been arrested for paying an undercover officer she thought was a hit man to kill her daughter's ex-boyfriend and two other people.
Acting New Jersey Attorney General John Hoffman says 52-year-old Denise Nagrodski, of Easton, was arrested around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. He says Nagrodski had just driven away from a mall where she had met with the undercover state police detective she believed would carry out the murders.
Hoffman said Nagrodski claimed that the ex-boyfriend was abusive and caused her daughter to have a miscarriage years ago when she was pregnant with twins. She allegedly told the detective to "burn him alive" and make sure he knew she was responsible for his death.
Hoffman said Nagrodski also wanted the former boyfriend's sister and the sister's boyfriend killed as part of the murder-for-hire plot. She allegedly asked that the sister and her boyfriend each be shot twice in the forehead, or "one for each twin," Hoffman said.
However, he said Nagrodski eventually agreed that the hit man would "bash in" the heads of those two victims and set their house on fire, because she could not provide him with a gun.
Nagrodski allegedly paid the detective $500, gave him photos of the intended victims and drew a map to the house where they live in Bound Brook. The $500 allegedly was the balance of the $1,000 she agreed to pay the detective.
Nagrodski remained jailed Wednesday on $2 million cash bail. She's charged with three counts each of first-degree conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree attempted murder, along with single counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated arson and attempt to tamper with or fabricate physical evidence.
If convicted on all counts, she could face several decades in prison. It wasn't known Wednesday if she had an attorney.
"Nagrodski didn't have a lot of money, but she certainly had a lot of determination to take revenge on the man she believed had taken her grandchildren from her," said Elie Honig, director of the state's Division of Criminal Justice. "The State Police disarmed an explosive situation and probably prevented multiple deaths. We will prosecute her for all three alleged attempted murders."