Accused serial killer’s lawyer makes fresh counter-offer in N.J. murder plea talks

After prosecutors offered suspected serial killer Sean M. Lannon a 50-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea in the killing of a New Jersey man last year, his defense attorney made a counteroffer of 25 years in June.

Prosecutors turned down that offer and the defense has now returned with an offer of 30 years.

Lawyers discussed the latest offer during a Tuesday morning court appearance in Gloucester County, where Lannon, 48, is charged in March 2021 with the bludgeoning death of his childhood mentor, Michael Dabkowski.

Lannon is also accused of killing four other people in New Mexico over the past year, including his estranged wife.

Assistant District Attorney Alec Gutierrez told Superior Court Judge John C. Eastlack Jr. that he needed time to review the latest offer with colleagues before responding, and the parties agreed to go to court in two weeks.

Lannon moved to New Mexico with his family from New Jersey a few years ago for a job.

He allegedly shot and killed his ex-wife Jennifer and two acquaintances at the couple’s home in Grants, New Mexico, and is accused of beating a man to death in Albuquerque.

The bodies of these four victims were found in a pickup truck parked at an Albuquerque airport. A day before they were found, Lannon took his three young children on a flight to Philadelphia, leaving them with their family in South Jersey, where he and Jennifer originally met.

On March 8, 2021, Lannon came to Dabkowski’s home in East Greenwich Township. A fight ensued in which Lannon beat the 66-year-old man to death with a hammer and stole his wallet and SUV, according to prosecutors. He was arrested in St. Louis two days later while still driving Dabrowski’s vehicle.

While Lannon still faces criminal prosecution in New Mexico, Gutierrez testified in court Tuesday that he has been in contact with his counterparts in that state to discuss a possible plea deal that would include all of Lannon’s charges in the five murders would appeal.

Such an agreement would be subject to a prison sentence that would satisfy all parties, he added, including the victims’ families.

“There was interest, at least interest, in a global injunction, depending on the number,” Gutierrez said of his discussions with New Mexico prosecutors.

Lannon remains incarcerated at the Salem County Correctional Facility awaiting his next court appearance.

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Matt Gray can be reached at [email protected].