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Entries in Hitman (4)

Thursday
Mar082012

Wife Blogs ‘What a Guy!’ As She Plots to Kill Husband, Say Cops 

AbleStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The wife of a Houston firefighter was blogging about their plans to renew their vows and gushing “What a guy!” about her husband while also making arrangements for a hit man to kill him, according to court documents and her personal blog.

Brittany Rachelle Martinez, 24, was sad and scared to death as she appeared before a judge Thursday morning on charges of solicitation of capital murder, her lawyers claimed, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK.

“It’s a bizarre scenario, and we are going to delve into it and talk to as many witnesses as we possibly can,” defense attorney George Parnham told KTRK.

Martinez, an EMT and the mother of two children, was arrested Tuesday and is being held at the Harris County Jail without bail.

Prosecutors said Thursday in court that Martinez tried to arrange the murder plot of her husband, Adrian Martinez. According to court records, Martinez provided a friend with $1,000, along a picture of her husband and a copy of his work schedule, to hire a hit man.

Martinez approached a friend, the manager of a north Houston restaurant call Casa Ole, on Jan. 17 about her marital problems and admitted she wanted him killed, court papers state.

She gave the manager a $500 down payment on Feb. 4 and promised another $1000 to $2,000 after her husband was dead, according to court papers. Martinez said she did not want to have contact with or meet the hit man, the papers state.

On Feb. 21, Brittany Martinez posted lovingly to her blog, Crew de Martinez, about the couple's upcoming wedding anniversary.

“In the overall plan of the year, Adrian and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary this coming October, for which we will be throwing a formal party/vow renewal,” the blog states. “We will be able to have the wedding we didn’t get to have and say our vows again, this time truly understanding what those words mean. I have picked out the dress, we decided on the venue and the rest is a simple case of creativity and saving. Eeek, I’m so excited! J”

Martinez’s post goes on to comment about the couple’s life in their new home, and updates the progress her two children have made in the past months.

She boasted on her blog about her husband’s career, pointing out that he is a certified firefighter and nationally registered paramedic.

“He also works part-time as a paramedic for the Cy-Fair VFD on their massive ambulances. What a guy!” she posted.

Martinez reached out to her friend again to say she wanted her husband killed as soon as possible, particularly before he noticed she took more money from the bank, the court documents state.

That day, Brittany Martinez dropped off another $500 with her husband’s work schedule, with the dates March 3 and 5 circled. Along with the schedule was a note that indicated her husband’s physical description, vehicle description and the warning, “cameras at the car lot across the street,” court papers allege.

Later that day, the manager recorded a phone conversation he had with Brittany Martinez. According to documents, she was giving detailed instructions on how and when the murder of her husband should occur.

If convicted of the charges, Martinez could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb222012

Animal Rights Activist Charged in Hiring a Hitman to Kill Fur-Wearers

U.S. Department of Justice(CLEVELAND) -- An animal activist planned to pay a hitman $730 to gun down a random person wearing fur outside of a Cleveland library. A criteria for any gunmen considering the offer was that they do not wear, "anything that looks remotely like fur," according to a police affidavit.

"I would like to create an online community on Facebook which would allow me to find someone who is willing to kill someone who is wearing fur toward the end of October 2011 or early November 2011 or possibly in January 2012 or February 2012 at the latest," Meredith Lowell allegedly wrote on a Facebook page she had established under the alias Anne Lowery.

Lowell, 27, was arrested Tuesday on one charge of conspiracy to commit murder. According to an affidavit filed by federal authorities, Lowell solicited a hitman to kill the first person he saw outside of a Cleveland Heights library who was wearing fur and, "preferably 14 years old or older but should be at least 12 years old."

The FBI took notice of the posting last November and assigned an undercover employee to correspond with Lowell, pretending to agree to get the job done. 

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A 14-page affidavit that detailed Lowell's alleged correspondence with her "hitman," which took place over the course of several months, was filed in U.S. District Court.

After exchanging messages on Facebook, Lowell began to open up to the FBI operative and revealed that Anne Lowery was a pseudonym. The two moved their correspondence to email since "it is easier for us to communicate," Lowell wrote.

Lowell sent many of the emails from the Coventry Branch of Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, where authorities claim she planned to have the murder take place. In those emails, she wrote of her desire to escape a home where her family ate meat, wore wool, and used animal products, the affidavit states.

Jennifer Kaden, co-founder of the Cleveland Animal Rights Alliance, said she checked her membership records and found that no one in her organization had ever dealt with Lowell, who she called "misguided" and "dangerous."

Lowell remains in federal custody and faces a detention hearing next Tuesday to determine whether she will be offered bail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov042011

Mistrial Declared in Houston Murder-for-Hire Case

Hemera/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- A mistrial was declared Friday in the Houston trial of a man prosecutors say was hired to kill a millionaire's socialite wife.

The trial came to a halt on just the second day of deliberations by the jury which was considering attempted murder charges against Damian Flores. Prosecutors allege that Flores was recruited by Jeffrey Stern and his mistress Michelle Gaiser to kill Stern's wife, Yvonne Stern.

Stern's trial is scheduled for later, but he and his wife have reconciled.

During deliberations, jurors asked to be read back testimonies from socialite Yvonne Stern and a police officer, regarding the lineup from which the accused shooter was identified. The jury was reportedly hung just before 3 p.m. and unable to reach a unanimous decision, according to ABC News affiliate KTRK.

Shortly after, a mistrial was declared. It is not yet known if prosecutors will request a retrial.

Gaiser told the jury how she arranged to have Yvonne Stern murdered in the parking lot of her apartment building. Gaiser said that she gave Flores $15,000 as a down payment on the hit.

Prosecutors painted Flores as a cold-blooded killer.

"Damian Flores doesn't look the part. Damian Flores is the part," attorney for the prosecution Justin Keiter said.

Yvonne Stern testified Monday that when he approached her while she sat in her car she begged Flores for her life, but that he took a few steps away, turned around, and fired through the glass.

"He had the opportunity to not kill her," prosecutor Kari Allen said. "But what did he do? He turned around, he bit his lip and he pulled the trigger."

Gaiser admitted to the jury she told Flores where Stern lived, what type of car she drove and when she would be alone.

In exchange for her dramatic testimony, Gaiser made a deal with prosecutors in which pleading guilty to solicitation of capital murder led to a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Gaiser is also expected to testify against Jeffrey Stern when he stands trial in a few months.

Yvonne Stern had started divorce proceedings, citing adultery, but later changed her mind and reconciled with her husband.

Police say the shooting was the third attempt on Yvonne Stern's life.  Prosecutors are making the case that Stern and his mistress worked hand-in-hand to hire hit men to shoot Yvonne.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct272011

Woman Accused of Seeking Hitman to Kill Love Rival

Comstock/Thinkstock(LYNDHURST, N.J.) -- A New Jersey woman accused of offering a hit man $10,000 to kill a love rival pleaded not guilty in court Thursday.

Nicole Faccenda, 42, of Lyndhurst, N.J, wanted the new girlfriend of her ex-boyfriend, with whom she has one child, “shot in the head,” according to a complaint released by the United States District Attorney.

Faccenda allegedly was so intent on having the woman killed that she didn’t care if the woman’s children were collateral damage. When asked on a recorded phone call about the possibility of something happening to the children, Faccenda said, ‘Oh well, I’m sorry,’ according to the complaint.

Faccenda was arrested Wednesday night after an elaborate, week-long sting.

Officials refused to name the intended victim or Faccenda’s ex-boyfriend.

She first reached out to a trusted acquaintance in Florida on Oct. 19, asking him to help her find a hit man.

“She told this acquaintance she had a black dress ready to wear to the intended victim’s funeral and would ‘spit on the casket,’” the complaint said.

The friend reported the conversation to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which listened in on his conversation with Faccenda on Oct. 20, when she was told the friend had found a person to commit the crime.

On Oct. 24, Faccenda met with her Florida acquaintance in the parking lot of a Secaucus, N.J., gas station and gave him a down payment of $2,000 for the hit man, along with the name, photo and license plate of the victim, the complaint says.

Two days later, the friend called Faccenda and informed her the victim had been shot dead and that the crime scene was fashioned to “look like a robbery.”

Faccenda was arrested at her place of employment on Wednesday evening.

“I believe she feels she was scammed,” Faccenda’s attorney, John Bruno, told ABC News. “I can’t go into more detail, but when all of the facts come out it will be clear what exactly occurred.”

Faccenda has worked in sales and catering at a food and beverage company for 17 years, according to Bruno.

“There have never been any issues with her,” he said. “She has an unblemished background. This is really an unfortunate misunderstanding.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio