N.J. Jury Charges Former State Employee with Attempted Murder in Plot to Kill Ex; $100,000 Life Policy Noted

New Jersey Attorney General Peter Harvey recently announced that a former state employee who attempted to hire an undercover state trooper as a “hitman” to kill her ex-husband has been charged via a State Grand Jury indictment with attempted murder and criminal conspiracy.

Division of Criminal Justice Director Vaughn McKoy said the State Grand Jury indictment charged Diane M. Oakley, 48, of Monmouth County, with the first degree crimes of attempted murder and criminal conspiracy. Oakley faces up to 40 years in state prison and a fine of up to $400,000 upon any conviction.

The State Grand Jury indictment charges that from Oct. 13 through Nov. 16, 2004, Oakley, while employed as a telecommunications systems analyst in Office of the State Judiciary, solicited various individuals for help in locating a “hitman” to kill her ex-husband, John Oakley (formerly of Cream Ridge).

The investigation determined that Oakley initially contacted an acquaintance seeking assistance in locating someone to kill her ex-husband. The acquaintance reported the solicitation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI referred the investigation to the New Jersey State Police.

On Nov. 2, 2004, an undercover State Police detective met with Oakley near her Monmouth County residence to discuss the “contract.” It is charged that Oakley reiterated her request to have her ex-husband killed and provided $1,000 cash as a down payment for the murder and photographs of the intended victim. It is alleged that Oakley agreed to pay the undercover detective $25,000 within three weeks of the completed murder from the proceeds of a $100,000 life insurance policy.

Oakley was arrested on Nov. 16, 2004, as she departed her Cream Ridge residence. Oakley was released from custody after posting $200,000 cash bail set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Bette Ehrmacher on Dec. 23.

The State Grand Jury indictment was returned to Mercer County Superior Court Judge Maria Marinari Sypek on Aug. 3. The case has been assigned to the Monmouth County Superior Court for trial.

A complaint summons will be issued to Oakley requiring her to appear in the Monmouth County Superior Court for arraignment and bail.