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South Passaic Daily Voice serves Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Prospect Park, Totowa, Wayne & Woodland Park

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Officer Michael Morgan’s killer pleads guilty, must serve 33 years

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

The man who gunned down off-duty Newark Police Detective Michael Morgan Jr. in cold blood on a Paterson street pleaded guilty to killing him today, for which he will be sentenced to no fewer than 33 years in state prison.

In a Passaic County courtroom filled with Newark officers and Morgan’s loved ones, Jerome Wright officially pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and two counts of robbery this afternoon.

He could have gone to prison for life without any chance for parole if he’d been convicted at a trial for felony murder.

Under terms of his plea with prosecutors, Wright admitted that he recklessly — but unintentionally — killed Morgan while trying to rob him and a woman he’d been out with the night of Nov. 7, 2011.

Morgan died trying to protect his companion.

Wright claimed he fired when the officer tried to take the gun from him.

An accomplice, Wright’s 20-year-old girlfriend Nashali Gadson, also admitted her participation in what was a holdup spree that fateful night that ended with Morgan’s death.

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