TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — An inmate at a New Jersey jail accused of trying to have his attorney killed will be represented by a public defender after a judge allowed the other lawyer to withdraw from the case.

The Asbury Park Press reports that a Superior Court judge Wednesday granted an application by 43-year-old Michael Nocera's attorney, who wasn't present.

Authorities allege that Nocera offered to pay $30,000 to have his attorney kidnapped and shot and his body burned and disposed of in a body of water.

Nocera had been held without bail in Ocean County since August on child sex charges. He's now charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Assistant Deputy Public Defender Alex Coven said Nocera consented to being detained on the new charge and to representation by the public defender's office.


Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press,