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Drunk Driver Pleads Guilty to Killing Cop

Mount Arlington police officer died last year when Howell man crashed into his car on I-80.

A Howell resident pled guilty to aggravated manslaughter charges after authorities claim he was driving while intoxicated when he crashed into a marked police car, killing Mount Arlington Police Officer Joseph Wargo.

Michael Cassella, 30, pled guilty to one count of aggravated manslaughter and one count of DWI, according to Acting Morris County Prosecutor Fredric Knapp.

The crash occurred in October 2011, when Knapp said Cassella was driving on I-80 West in Roxbury while intoxicated just after midnight, lost control of his car and crashed into Wargo's marked vehicle. Wargo, who was 38 years old, died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Cassella was recommended to receive a 20-year prison sentence. Cassella would also be ineligible for parole on 85 percent of the sentence on the aggravated assault plea. He would be subject to parole supervision in addition to being forced to pay fines and penalties.

“The senseless death of Officer Wargo warrants a strong response from the criminal justice system,” Knapp said in a press release. “All members of the Morris County and State law enforcement communities grieve his passing, and we extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family.”

In addition to the prosecutor's office, New Jersey State Police, the Morris County Sheriff's Office, Mount Arlington Police Department and Roxbury Police Department assisted with the investigation and case.

Frank Ross January 05, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Why cant this guy claim hes innocent under the Wall Police Chief Driving While Drunk Act.
Jim Lang January 05, 2013 at 01:29 PM
"With liberty and justice for all." Just not equal justice.
Pepino Greenberg January 06, 2013 at 03:19 PM
Law enforcement gets away with everything,,,nonstop drunk driving,,violence ,,etc,,, then they wonder why no one respects them.
Anonymous John January 11, 2013 at 06:58 PM
Its sad I know this guy... His story was that the cop was doing about 85mph at least and could've avoided the crash if he wasnt speeding recklessly as well. But who knows...its doesn't matter.
Dr. Hook January 12, 2013 at 11:54 PM
Cassella is bad news. Lengthy record, numerous chances to get help through drug counseling and rehab. Just a bad seed. Deserves to get more than 20 years. 35 years at 85% would be justice.

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