NEW BRUNSWICK — A South Plainfield man has been convicted of charges stemming from the attack of a borough employee, whose neck was cut on Labor Day in 2009, Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan announced today.
Anthony K. Cole, 25, was found guilty of attempted murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and hindering his apprehension or prosecution.
A jury sitting in New Brunswick also found Cole guilty of a count of “certain persons not to have weapons,” after determining that he possessed a knife in the attack of the employee.
He was prohibited from having a weapon, since he previously was found guilty and sentenced to a five-year term for committing an aggravated sexual assault in Edison in 2001.
Cole, who remains in custody, is scheduled to be sentenced to up to 26½ years in a New Jersey state prison when he appears in court before Superior Court Judge Bradley Ferencz on Oct. 31.
During a two-week trial that began on Aug. 2, Middlesex County Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Kuberiet presented evidence and testimony linking Cole to the Sept. 7, 2009 attack upon David Donatelli, 53.
Kuberiet said an investigation by the South Plainfield Police Department showed that Cole approached Donatelli from behind and cut his neck with a knife at Spring Lake Park in South Plainfield.
Donatelli, who was working for the borough’s public works department, was shutting off park lights at the end of the borough’s Labor Day celebration when he was attacked shortly before 8:48 p.m.
Donatelli was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was treated.
During the investigation, police recovered a pair of gloves. Testing revealed the victim’s blood was on the outside of the gloves, and Cole’s DNA was retrieved from the inside of each glove.
Cole subsequently was arrested and charged on Dec. 16, 2009.
Kuberiet credited the South Plainfield Police Department with gathering the evidence and building the case that led to Cole’s arrest and conviction.
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