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Murder

Man Receives Life in Prison for Role in Murder of Witness

Man Receives Life in Prison for Role in Murder of Witness

On November 9, 2012, the Department of Justice reported that Frank Marfo was sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to murder a bank fraud investigation witness.  He was convicted on the following counts: one count of conspiracy and committing murder for hire, one count of conspiracy and murdering a witness, one count of using a gun that resulted in death, and one count of conspiracy and committing bank fraud.

Court documents show that Marfo, Tavon Davis, Bruce Byrd, and others were involved in a bank fraud scheme from May 2009 to November 9, 2011.  The scheme let the defendants collect over $1 million in money orders.

Cortez Callaway worked with Davis during the scheme, but Cortez was arrested by the Baltimore County Police on December 29, 2010 for possessing counterfeited documents and theft.  He admitted his role in the bank fraud scheme and told the police he was hired by Davis and others.

Between December 29, 2010 and January of 2011, Marfo, Davis and Byrd discussed the possibility of murdering Callaway to prevent him from testifying during the bank fraud trial.  Marfo was going to commit the murder himself, but he and Davis eventually hired Byrd to commit the murder.

From April 5 to April 11 in 2011, Davis called Byrd 68 times and many of the calls discussed the murder.  Davis finally told Callaway that Byrd wanted to meet with him on the 1700 block of Crystal Avenue in Baltimore on April 11 to discuss the testimony.  Byrd shot Callaway when he was in his driver’s seat with a 10mm handgun, and Davis met with Byrd shortly after.

The two men traveled to Marfo’s residence and Davis paid Byrd $2,000.  Byrd and Davis have since pleaded guilty to the crime.  Byrd was sentenced to 40 years in prison, and Davis currently awaits sentencing.

Source: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Jared Lee Loughner Sentenced for Tucson Shooting

Jared Lee Loughner Sentenced for Tucson Shooting


On November 8, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona announced that Jared Lee Loughner was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole for killing six people and wounding 13 others—including Congresswoman Gabrielle D Giffords—on January 8, 2011.  


During his plea hearing, Loughner admitted traveling to the Safeway grocery store in Tucson with a semi-automatic pistol and 93 rounds of ammunition with the plan to kill Giffords and her supporters.  He was able to fire 33 rounds before he was subdued.  


He pleaded to a total of 19 charges in the superseding indictment on March 3, 2011.  The charges are listed below:


•    attempted assassination of Gabrielle D. Giffords
•    murders of federal employees John M. Roll and Gabriel M. Zimmerman
•    attempted murder of federal employees Ronald S. Barber and Pamela K. Simon
•    the murders of Christina-Taylor Green, Dorothy J. Morris, Phyllis C. Schneck, and Dorwan C. Stoddard
•    seriously wounding Bill D. Badger, Kenneth W. Dorushka, James E. Fuller, Randy W. Gardner, Susan A.     Hileman, George S.     Morris, Mary C. Reed, Mavanell Stoddard, James L. Tucker, and Kenneth L. Veeder, Sr.
•    gravely endangering multiple other federal aides and public supporters


Loughner is serving a total of seven life sentences and a 140 sentence.  


Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “Today’s sentence—life in prison without the possibility of release—means Jared Loughner will never again be free to hurt or menace the American public.  For the victims, their families, and the larger community impacted by this tragic event in our nation’s history, it is my sincere hope that this conclusion will help in their journey toward physical and emotional recovery.”


Giffords was shot point-blank in the back of the head and miraculously survived.  She has since participated in interviews but has retired from public service.  


Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

A Tragedy: Apache Man Murdered 3-Year-Old Boy

A Tragedy: Apache Man Murdered 3-Year-Old Boy


On October 16, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Mexico announced that Jay Rutherford Paiz of Dulce, New Mexico, pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree of his son.  Paiz is a member of the Jicarilla Apache Nation.  


During the plea hearing, Paiz told the U.S. Attorney’s Office that he fatally injured his 3-year-old son on July 20, 2008 at his residence that is located on the Jicarilla Apache Indian Reservation.  He was arrested on July 22, 2008 after a criminal complaint was issued that he attempted to kill or commit manslaughter through child abuse.  


According to court documents, the Jicarilla Apache Tribal Police Department and the EMS arrived at Paiz’s residence after responding to a call.  When they got there, Paiz was walking toward the vehicles with his son in his arms.  His son was unresponsive.  The child was rushed to the hospital and bruises were found on his head, ears, back, legs, and pelvic area.  The bruises did not occur all at once.  


The son underwent emergency surgery to release pressure on the brain.  The child was admitted to intensive care, but his condition worsened on the next day.  The 3-year-old boy eventually died of his head injuries on July 3, 2008, and Paiz was immediately charged with first-degree murder.  


Paiz eventually pled guilty to second-degree murder.  During the guilty plea, Paiz stated that he repeatedly spanked and whipped his son with a belt because he didn’t listen.  On the day of the head injuries, Paiz admitted that he threw his son on the bed which resulted in the boy hitting his head against the wall.  Paiz stated he was intoxicated during the incident.  


The conditions of the plea agreement sentence Paiz to at least 15 years in prison and no more than 25 years in prison.  


Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Convicted Terrorist Guilty of Murder-to-Hire

Convicted Terrorist Guilty of Murder-to-Hire


On November 8, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina reported that Hysen Sherifi of Raleigh was found guilty of nine counts in a murder-for-hire conspiracy.  Sherifi is believed to have conspired with two other people in order to retaliate against witnesses who provided evidence in Sherifi’s terrorism case.  


Hysen Sherifi was indicted with his brother, Shkumbin Sherifi, and Nevine Elshiekh on February 21, 2012.  Hysen Sherifi was previously sentenced to 45 years in prison on terrorism charges.  During the second trial, evidence proved that Sherifi offered to pay a hitman between November 2011 and January 22, 2012 to murder three witnesses and behead them.  Sherifi now faces life in prison for the charges.


Court documents show that Sherifi asked another inmate at the New Hanover County, North Carolina Detention Facility if he knew how to hire someone to commit a series of murder.  The inmate then relayed the information to his attorney, and federal agents started an investigation in November of 2011.  


$5,000 was given to an outside informant who the three defendants believed was paying the hitman.  Staged photos were set up by federal agents, and Shkumbin sent photos of a dead body and a severed head to Hysen on the day they were arrested.  Other evidence included recorded jail calls, recordings in and outside the prison, and testimony.  


Sherifi is scheduled for sentencing on February 4, 2013.  


U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker stated, “This conviction is further evidence of our resolve to pursue those who seek to attack our freedoms and destroy the way of life we all cherish.  We will not waiver in our commitment to bring these individuals to justice.”


The investigation was led by Raleigh and Wilmington FBI Agencies and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office.  


Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Topeka Man Receives 33 Years for Christmas Eve Shooting

Topeka Man Receives 33 Years for Christmas Eve Shooting


On November 26, 2012, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas announced that Matthew Daniel Myers from Topeka, Kansas was sentenced to 33 years in federal prison without parole.  He fatally shot a clerk at a liquor store on Christmas Eve in 2011.  


Myers pleaded guilty to one count of discharging a weapon during a crime of violence.  


During the guilty plea, Myers admitted that he entered the Hudson Liquor store on 810 S.E. 15th in Topeka around 1:30 p.m. on December 24, 2011.  He entered the store wearing a stocking cap and pajama pants, and he was holding a crowbar in his hand.  


He demanded money from Matthew Hill, the clerk.  Hill gave Myers the money but then attempted to reach for a .38 caliber pistol in a drawer.  Myers stuck Hill with the crowbar, knocked him to the ground, and used the handgun in the drawer to shoot Hill.  


Myers immediately started exiting the store but realized Hill was still alive.  He walked back over to Hill and shot him in the head, and the entire murder was caught on camera.  


The handgun used during the crime was never found by authorities, but DNA on the crowbar and stocking cap matched Myers’ DNA file.  


Myers was initially facing charges in the state court but the charges were dismissed so the case could be prosecuted federally.  


The Topeka Police Department, the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office, Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor’s Office, the FBI, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Warner, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jared Maag worked on this case.  


U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom stated: “We are targeting federal resources in the fight against violent crime.  This case shows what we can do when we work together.”


Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation