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Contract Killings


Thursday, 29 May 2008

Sharon Collins,Ennis and Essam Eid pleaded not guilty to conspiring to kill PJ Howard and his sons, Robert and Niall,

Sharon Collins (45), of Ballybeg House, Kildysart Road, Ennis and Essam Eid (53), an Egyptian man with a Nevada address, have pleaded not guilty to conspiring to kill PJ Howard and his sons, Robert and Niall, between August 1, 2006 and September 26, 2006. Ms Collins also denied hiring Mr Eid to shoot the three men. Mr Eid also denies demanding €100,000 from Mr Robert Howard to cancel the contracts and breaking into the Howard family business at Westgate Business Park and stealing two computers, some computer cables, a digital clock and a poster of old Irish money and then handling the stolen items. Counsel for the prosecution, Tom O’Connell told the jury they believed they had an “overwhelming” case against the two accused. They would hear technical evidence of a trail of emails and phone calls between the two which would show the progression of the conspiracy. According to counsel, Ms Collins had moved in with Mr Howard in 1998, some months after meeting him. When his wife died in 2003, she became anxious to marry him but he was reluctant to do so because it would complicate rights of inheritance as he wanted his sons to inherit his assets.
The jury would hear that Ms Collins arranged a wedding in Rome in 2005 but Mr Howard backed out. They went to Sorrento and took part in a church ceremony pledging themselves to each other. However, no marriage took place and documents were signed before the couple left Italy to confirm this. Counsel told the jury they would hear that Ms Collins arranged for a proxy marriage, legal under Mexican law, which she used to get an Irish passport in the name of Sharon Howard.
Mr Eid had been identified by Robert and Niall Howard as the man, calling himself Tony, who arrived at their house on September 26, 2006. He had a laptop computer, stolen from the family business the night before and also had photographs and details of the Howard family. Robert Howard would say Mr Eid demanded €100,000 to cancel the contract on him, his brother and his father.
Mr Eid was arrested when he turned up to collect the money the next day and was caught in a garda sting operation. A search of his room found items stolen from the Howard business premises as well as keys to the premises.
The trial will continue today before Mr Justice Roderick Murphy and the jury.

Vincent Smothers, Marzell Black to stand trial in the killing of Rose Cobb.

Vincent Smothers, 27, and 20-year-old Marzell Black to stand trial in the killing of Rose Cobb. They pleaded not guilty after their arrests last month.Smothers also was ordered to stand trial on first-degree murder charges involving the unrelated shooting deaths of two Detroit residents. Police say Smothers also confessed to four other homicides under investigation.According to a statement read in court, Smother told police he swore off life as a hit man after ambushing Rose Cobb, who was killed the day after Christmas."My stomach was in knots" afterward, Smothers' statement said. "I felt like she was innocent."Smothers's attorney, Gabi Deborah Silver, said after the hearing that she would continue to challenge the circumstances under which police obtained statements from Smothers and Black.The statements said Detroit police Sgt. David Cobb offered the men $5,000 each to kill his 47-year-old wife. She was shot in the head four times while waiting in a minivan outside a drugstore while her husband shopped inside.David Cobb was arrested April 20 but was released two days later when prosecutors said they didn't have enough information to authorize a murder warrant against him. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said her office and police would continue to investigate.Smothers' statement said he received $60,000 for killing seven people between August 2006 and the end of 2007."Cobb's wife was the last one I committed," the statement said. "Killing a cop's wife was tough. All the other ones were dope killings."Smothers and Black remain held without bond in the Wayne County Jail. First-degree murder is punishable by life in prison with no possibility of parole

Narayan Thadani and Douglas Tobar, both of Houston, were charged Wednesday with two counts each

Narayan Thadani and Douglas Tobar, both of Houston, were charged Wednesday with two counts each of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire in the deaths of Brij Chhabra, 65, and his wife Aasha, 56.Tobar’s attorney, Guy Womack, who is based in Houston, said this morning that he expects his client will be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit on May 30. Detroit federal defender Miriam Siefer, one of Thadani’s lawyers, said today that it’s unclear when Thadani’s arraignment will be.Both attorneys said their clients plan to plead not guilty to the charges, which could be punishable by the death penalty.Police have accused Thadani of asking Tobar, his landscaper, to help him find someone he could hire to kill the Chhabras, with whom Thadani had been embroiled in a lawsuit over management of Aasha Chhabra’s assets in India. That lawsuit says Thadani had been withdrawing money from her accounts without her permission.According to police, Thadani hired Nelson Mendoza and Miguel Angel Servando, who Womack said had worked for Tobar, to kill that Chhabras. Servando and Mendoza, who were living in the Houston area, have been charged with first-degree murder.Womack said Tobar was not involved in the shooting deaths of the Chhabras.“He was as shocked as anyone else” to learn of the killings, Womack said.Servando and Mendoza face trial in Oakland County Circuit Court in September.

Anna Politkovskaya and Paul Klebnikov were victims of contract killings.

Russian tabloid newspaper claims the same Chechen gang carried out the murders of two high-profile journalists in Moscow. Tvoi Den reports that both Anna Politkovskaya and Paul Klebnikov were victims of contract killings.
Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper was shot dead in October 2006 near her apartment.Paul Klebnikov, the chief editor of the Russian Forbes magazine, was killed in June 2004 while leaving his office.In both cases Chechen criminals were suspected of carrying out the killings.Tvoi Den claims it has found a link between suspects who’ve been arrested for the murders and another assassination.Chechen former Vice-Prime Minister Yan Sergunin was murdered in Moscow in June 2004. The man said to behind the shooting is also suspected of organising the assassination of Politkovskaya. At the same time, a man suspected of assisting in Sergunin’s killing is also wanted in the Klebnikov case.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Malik Arif said that he had hired contract killers, Qaiser and Aslam, with the help of his driver, Rab Nawaz, and his driver’s friend Fiaz.

The mystery of a mill owner’s murder was ‘solved’ on Sunday when the deceased’s son confessed that he had paid a large financial sum to two hit men to kill his father.
Malik Abdul Rehman, the owner of the mill, had taken a second wife a few months ago. The children from his first marriage, as well as other family members, were not happy about this and had differences with him over it. On December 15, 2007, Rehman, accompanied by his second wife, was making his way home when two men on motorbikes shot him before fleeing from the scene. His wife and passers-by rushed him to a nearby hospital where he later died. Police registered a case against the unidentified assailants on behalf of the deceased’s son, Malik Arif, and initiated investigation proceedings.Initially, the police thought that Rehman had been killed when he tried to resist a robbery attempt. They later expanded the scope of their investigations when they realised that his son might have been behind the murder.
During interrogation, Arif confessed that his anger at his father’s second marriage had incited him to pay money to have his father killed.
In his confession statement, Arif said that he had hired contract killers, Qaiser and Aslam, with the help of his driver, Rab Nawaz, and his driver’s friend Fiaz.
The police arrested Arif and Aslam while the other two still remain at large. A special team has been constituted for their arrest

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Man charged a man with killing Anna Politkovskaya, the independent journalist shot in a contract-style killing

Investigators in Moscow said they had charged a man with killing Anna Politkovskaya, the independent journalist shot in a contract-style killing in 2006. They said they had issued an international arrest warrant for the man, Mustam Makhmudov, who was described as a 34-year-old Chechen and the “executor of the crime.” The authorities have arrested several other men in the case and have said they believe that the crime was ordered from abroad, a contention Ms. Politkovskaya’s friends have said is meant to divert attention from people in Russia who ordered her killing. Ms. Politkovskaya, a special correspondent at the newspaper Novaya Gazeta, was an unflinching critic of Vladimir V. Putin, the former president.

Anna Mikhalchuk prominent artist who had run-ins with both church and state in her native Russia has disappeared without a trace

Anna Mikhalchuk prominent artist who had run-ins with both church and state in her native Russia after taking part in a controversial exhibition has disappeared without a trace from her new home in Berlin.The artist, Anna Mikhalchuk, 52, has been missing for nearly a week, with no evidence surfacing up to this point that she is alive, according to a police statement. She left her apartment in the West Berlin district of Charlottenburg on Good Friday at 3:30 p.m. and has not been heard from since, the police statement said.Ms. Mikhalchuk, who exhibits under the name Alchuk, took part in “Caution! Religion,” a 2003 exhibition at Moscow’s Andrei Sakharov Museum that opponents called “blasphemous.” Shortly after the show opened, six men from an Orthodox church in Moscow ransacked the museum, damaging or destroying many of the works on display.The museum’s director and a curator were convicted in 2005 of inciting religious hatred. Ms. Mikhalchuk was charged but acquitted. According to her husband, Mikhail Ryklin, a philosopher, she received numerous threats during the investigation and trial but none since they arrived here last year, after he accepted a post at Humboldt University. University officials, with Mr. Ryklin’s help, drafted a letter to the police to highlight possible political or religious motives behind a crime against Ms. Mikhalchuk. “There were religious fanatics who really hated her,” said Mr. Ryklin, 60, in an interview in their apartment.
“For German police to imagine that someone can suffer for artistic activity, for these people its not easy because it can’t happen here,” Mr. Ryklin said.
He said his wife’s disappearance remained a complete mystery, with the police so far finding no evidence of foul play or an accident. He said the police had told him they were doing everything from searching nearby lakes to checking video cameras at train stations.The police refused to address speculation about Ms. Mikhalchuk’s disappearance. “All we know at this point is that the woman is missing. There is no evidence of a crime at this point,” said Michael Maass, a spokesman for the Berlin police.Several prominent Kremlin critics have been killed in recent years, including the journalist Anna Politkovskaya and a former K.G.B. agent, Alexander V. Litvinenko. But Mr. Ryklin said that while he and his wife were critical of government policies, they were not political

Monday, 12 May 2008

Leonid Rozhetskin a super-rich Russian-American lawyer with a taste for danger and connections in the highest places victim of contract killing

Mr. Rozhetskin’s mother living in US, stated her son ‘was murdered by the Russian secret service for attempting to disclose corruption in the Russian Government’.
It should be noted that after Mr. Rozhetskin’s disappearance blood patterns were found in his house. The businessman’s Porshe Cayenne was found left with blood patterns. It was found out that the blood was from head, while the DNA samples coincided with those taken from Mr. Rozhetskin’s personal belongings. Elvira Rozhetskina,
The first suspect in murder of Leonid Rozhetskin, Megafon’s founder, has been detained in Latvia. There is reason to believe that the murder is contract.It became known Friday, April 4th, that a suspect in murder of Leonid Rozhetskin, a US businessman of Russian origin, was detained by the Latvian police Wednesday, April 2nd. The Court of Jurmala, where Mr. Rozhetskin disappeared March 15-16, sanctioned to detain the suspect on Friday, April 4th. The suspect is known to be a man and the Latvian citizen. Neither the court, nor the police provide any details. Inese Louse, the detainee’s lawyer, does not disclose his name. According to the Latvian edition, the lawyer reports that it is meanwhile not clear, whether that was a murder. At the same time a source aware of the investigation progress tells CNews there are two suspects in the murder. Various versions of what happened are being currently considered says Aldis Lielyuksis, head of Latvia’s State Police. According to one of the versions, Mr. Rozhetskin was murdered. ‘There could have been many motives to commit the crime as Mr. Rozhetskin had wide ties in various spheres of life and in different countries. And large amounts of money were related to him’, - says Mr. Lielyuksis.
According to the CNews’ source, the issue might be not of a domestic murder but a contract one. ‘Everyone knew Mr. Rozhetskin possessed property in Latvia, - says the source. – But after the Russian prosecutor’s office issued an international arrest warrant against Mr. Rozhetskin through Interpol (the legal action was initiated by St. Petersburg Group of communication operators challenging Megafon’s sale to Alfa Group carried out by Mr. Rozhetskin, - CNews’ note), he was restricted to travel abroad. Late last year the arrest warrant was cancelled (the dispute over Megafon was resolved through signing a settlement agreement, - CNews’ note). So Mr. Rozhetskin was expected to go to Latvia to examine his property. Somebody seems to have been waiting for his arrival’.
Leonid Rozhetskin a super-rich Russian-American lawyer with a taste for danger and connections in the highest places disappeared exactly two months ago. The 41-year-old was beginning to finance movies, trying to break into Hollywood. Now he is starring in his absence in a real thriller, still unfolding at locations across the world.It began on 16 March, when his holiday villa on the Gulf of Riga was found empty. His car was discovered abandoned the next day. His private jet had left Latvia without him, and has since hopped mysteriously from airport to airport for no apparent reason.Exactly two months later, FBI agents are trying to unravel fiction from fact as they follow the hugely complicated trail of businesses, associates and lovers he left behind. Where did Rozhetskin go? Did he choose to vanish? Was he murdered? If so, who did it? Was it a crime of passion? Did the Russian mafia take revenge for a deal? Has another critic of Putin's regime been silenced?
That is what his partner is said to fear. She is under close protection with their son in London, where Rozhetskin co-owns the business paper City AM. An investigation by The Independent on Sunday has found no evidence to support her fears. But we have uncovered new details of his life that show Leonid Rozhetskin to be a man of many passions, thrilled by taking risks. No stranger to cocaine or rent boys, he was so deeply mired in the cut-throat world of Moscow business that he had previously been forced to flee Russia. The IoS has also learned of FBI evidence hinting at how he may have been killed and the body disposed of.
Just before Rozhetskin disappeared he was with his partner, the model Natalya Belova, in London. He had bought an apartment there for £3m and was telling people he planned to stay for good. But that weekend he flew to Latvia, apparently spontaneously, after a phone call that a source close to Rozhetskin said he described as "important".Rozhetskin bought the villa near Riga airport five years ago, paying £900,000 for the holiday home in Kapu Iela, a development described as Latvia's Millionaires' Row. He visited only two or three times a year but was known for giving parties. He played an enthusiastic part in the area's small gay community and is said to have been the lover of an ambassador's son. His local nickname was Malvina, which may relate to a Belarusian soft toy company of the same name.
Fun may not have been his only reason for being there, however. Washington had put two Latvian banks on its list of suspected money launderers. One of them was the VEF Bank, whose chairman and largest shareholder until recently (along with his ex-KGB partner Yuris Savitskis) was a man called Alexey Durandin. He is said to own the largest hotel and casino in Jurmala, the seaside town near Rozhetskin's villa. The two men knew each other. Rozhetskin gambled at the casino – and some sources suggest he may have offered to use his influence to try to get Durandin's bank removed from the US blacklist. This has not happened.Rozhetskin knew many wealthy men like Durandin. He first started to associate with them in 1996 when he moved back to Moscow. Born in Leningrad, he had been educated at Harvard Law School but returned from the US to make a fortune after the fall of Communism. This involved masterminding the first placement of Russian stock on Wall Street since the revolution. Working with George Soros and others, establishing the pioneering company Renaissance Capital, he played the markets to become a key figure in the new economy. But he also took chances in his private life. Rozhetskin had a reputation for hosting wild revelries, where cocaine and male prostitutes were available.
But money was all that really counted, and soon Rozhetskin was caught up in a huge business battle. Part of his considerable portfolio was a quarter stake in Megafon, the giant mobile phone company. When he attempted to sell up, his actions provoked legal battles across the world.
First, a Bermuda-based corporation called Ipoc claimed he had sold it the option to purchase his stake. The company is nominally controlled by a Danish lawyer called Jeffrey Galmond, but a Swiss arbitration court ruled the real owner to be the current Telecoms Minister in Russia, Leonid Reiman.
However, Rozhetskin actually sold his shares for £128m to Altimo, a subsidiary of a huge Russian banking and industrial group called Alfa. It has links to the British Establishment at a very high level: the international advisory panel includes the former foreign secretary Lord Hurd, and the one-time head of GCHQ, Sir Francis Richards. Neither man has a seat on the board, however, or any fiduciary responsibility.
The head of Alfa is Mikhail Fridman, ranked by Forbes magazine as the 50th-richest person in the world. Six years ago, when he was locked in a libel battle with the Centre for Public Integrity in Washington, Fridman ordered an audit of his own company by the corporate sleuths Kroll. Fridman is now believed to be paying the London office of Kroll to supply the bodyguards for Rozhetskin's partner and son.
Alfa and Ipoc threw themselves into a legal struggle over his shares. To help with this, Fridman hired another firm of investigators. Called Diligence, they are chaired in Europe by the former Conservative leader Michael Howard. But in one highly embarrassing episode, Diligence paid an ex-MI6 operative to impersonate a serving agent in an attempt to get documents from Ipoc's accountants. Diligence paid $1.7m (£875,000) to the accountants to settle the dispute.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Moscow had charged Rozhetskin with the theft of $40m from Ipoc. The money is said to have been paid to him under an alleged option-to-buy arrangement. The arrest warrant is still in force.
But nobody knows where Rozhetskin is. As a result, the battle between Alfa and Ipoc appears to be abating. Last week in Bermuda, Ipoc admitted it had attempted to deceive a court about the source of its funds, and it had to forfeit $45m. In New York, where Rozhetskin had been suing Reiman for pressing him to sell, his lawyers said an unnamed person with power of attorney had ordered them to resolve the case.
All of which should pave the way for both sides to sell their shares to the man known as "the Kremlin's favourite businessman", Alisher Usmanov. The chairman of Gazprom Investment Holdings owns Dynamo Moscow football club and a 25 per cent stake in Arsenal. He is close to the new President, Dmitry Medvedev, but Gazprom cannot take over Megafon until all court cases relating to it are settled. The disappearance of Rozhetskin may actually now hasten an agreement between Fridman, Reiman and Usmanov – three of the most powerful men in Russia.
Of course, his disappearance may have nothing to do with his business interests at all. Among the last people to see him alive were two men who left the villa in a taxi at 2.30am on 16 March. They were taken to XXL, a gay club in Riga. The lights were on when the driver left, and Rozhetskin's SUV was in the driveway. The two men, who have not been named, were questioned but ruled out as suspects.
Police arrested the butler, Anatoly Demchenkov, once an employee of that local casino owner Alexey Durandin, but he has been released on bail. Detectives refuse to confirm that the large patches of blood found at the villa belong to the missing man, but the FBI said DNA tests proved it did. The blood came from a serious head wound, which leads agents to believe he is dead.
No valuables were stolen from the villa, the FBI noted. This may rule out a burglary or an assignation gone wrong. His passport was missing, as were two heavy metal toolboxes. One theory is that they were taken to weigh down the body when it was dropped in the sea.The FBI must investigate the apparent death of a US citizen abroad, but the mysterious case of Leonid Rozhetskin has also given its agents an unprecedented chance to delve into the dealings of Russia's new movers and shakers. The vanished man was working with Eric Eisner, the son of the former head of Disney, providing finance for a new film about the Russian mafia, to be called Three Wolves. Whatever the plot, it can hardly be as gripping or as far-reaching as the one he left behind.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Few in Brazil were surprised when a jury overturned an Amazon rancher's conviction for killing an American nun.

Few in Brazil were surprised when a jury overturned an Amazon rancher's conviction for killing an American nun.
Much more surprising was that he was ever convicted in the first place.
Para state prosecutors vowed on Wednesday to appeal the acquittal of Vitalmiro Moura, accused of being a «mandante» _
mastermind _ behind the killing of 73-year-old Dorothy Stang, but acknowledged they face an uphill battle.
«It's very hard to even have a 'mandante' stand trial here, harder still to get one convicted,» said prosecutor Edson Souza.
In Para, where Stang was shot dead in 2005, contract killings are so common that a gruesome slang has grown up to describe the chain of command: the «pistoleiro» is the gunman, the «intermediario» is a go-between and the «mandante» orders the hit.
Stang, born in Dayton, Ohio, spent three decades living among the poor and defending the rights of settlers on the Amazon's wild frontier. Prosecutors say the killing was arranged _ even if the convicted gunman withdrew earlier testimony he was acting on Moura's orders.
«Everyone understands that these crimes are contract killings, but usually the only evidence of that comes from the gunman's testimony _ and he can easily be bought, intimidated or even killed,» said attorney Jose Batista Afonso of the Catholic Land Pastoral organization, which monitors rural violence.
At the root of the violence is the unclear land ownership in the vast Amazon region. Confrontations are frequent between settlers and ranchers, who often use forged deeds and force poor farmers off at gunpoint.
According to Land Pastoral, more than 800 people have been killed in land-related violence in Para over the past 35 years, but only five masterminds had ever been convicted before Moura.
So when he was sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2007, human rights advocates hailed it as evidence Brazil was finally cracking down on impunity.
But Brazilian law gives a second trial to any first offender sentenced to more 20 years in prison.

Alfonso suggested two factors in the reversal: «First, that the Brazilian jury system is very susceptible to economic power. The other is that the second time around, the international pressure and the pressure from movements in the region just wasn't the same.
At the first trial, the jury voted to convict Moura on the strength of testimony from confessed gunman Rayfran das Neves Sales and convicted middleman Amair Feijoli da Cunha, who said the rancher provided the weapon and offered US$25,000 for the killing.
But they both recanted their testimony later; Sales, facing his own retrial, said he felt threatened by the elderly nun and shot her in self-defense.
The decision also leaves in limbo the case against a second suspected mastermind in the Stang killing, rancher Regivaldo Galvao, who has so far managed to avoid trial.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's human rights chief issued a statement Wednesday expressing «vehement disagreement» with the verdict.
When Brazilian rain forest defender Chico Mendes was killed in 1988, his slayers were convicted amid heavy international attention. But they escaped prison by walking out the front door, and were re-arrested years later.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Raghubir Mittal, 60, and his nephew, Pawan Mittal, 38, were killed and their driver Sanjeev, 30, injured by four-five car-borne assailants

'The modus operandi suggests that it was the job of some henchmen who gunned down Raghubir Mittal and his nephew Pawan Mittal over some personal vendetta,' a senior investigating Delhi Police official said Tuesday.Contract killers could be behind the killings of two city-based traders, who were gunned down and their driver shot at while they were returning to their northwest Delhi home late Monday, police said.
'No arrests have been made so far. The matter is being probed from all angles,' he added.Raghubir Mittal, 60, and his nephew, Pawan Mittal, 38, were killed and their driver Sanjeev, 30, injured when four-five car-borne assailants waylaid their car and fired at them near Kohat Enclave in Saraswati Vihar area late Monday.
The Mittals died of bullet injuries on way to hospital. The driver is out of danger.
On Monday, the police had ruled out robbery as a motive behind the killings as the assailants had left without touching a bag containing Rs.1 million kept inside the car.The Mittals have a factory for manufacturing footwear in Bawana and were also into importing shoes from China.

Velma Ogden-Whitehead pleads guilty in 2005 murder-for-hire plot against husband

Velma Ogden-Whitehead had been scheduled to go on trial on murder charges this summer, followed by her son, Jon Ogden, also charged in the alleged murder-for-hire plot that left Ronald Whitehead, a 61-year-old career Boeing employee, dead.
Ogden-Whitehead, 50, said in a statement that she planned the robbery of her husband along with her son and his friend Wilson Sayachack. She denied knowing he would be shot, but conceded she knew that guns were readily available in their home and that force might be used.The standard sentencing range for the first-degree murder charge is 20 to 26 years in prison. Sentencing is set for June 5.Sayachack — the accused shooter — has been tried twice for his alleged role in the slaying. The first trial ended in a mistrial when jurors couldn't agree on a verdict and the second trial also ended in a mistrial last month after a key witness and a handgun thought to be the murder weapon emerged partway through the jury trial.The handgun, which has been tested since it was discovered by police in an unrelated drug seizure in Puyallup is in fact the murder weapon, Craig Peterson, senior deputy prosecuting attorney, said this morning.Whitehead was fatally shot on March 18, 2005, near SeaTac while he was driving to work, in a slaying police said was made to look like a carjacking.Prosecutors allege that Sayachack, 16 at the time, hid in the trunk of Whitehead's car while Jon Ogden, Whitehead's stepson, was in the passenger seat.
Ogden-Whitehead, who for months after the slaying appealed publicly for help finding her husband's killer, admitted this morning that she allowed Sayachack to hide in her garage and gave him information about her husband's schedule.
"I knew about it and facilitated it," she said in her statement.
Ogden-Whitehead, who sobbed through this morning's hearing, was accused of paying Sayachack $1,000 for the killing. Police said she made hundreds of thousands of dollars after selling property she inherited after Whitehead's death."Some of the motivations here are difficult to put a finger on," said her defense attorney Jonathan Neucomb. "It wasn't to do with any financial gain ... There were things going on in that marriage that we'll discuss at sentencing. It was not a happy marriage."Neucomb said Whitehead decided to plead guilty in part because she was upset that her case had been made by prosecutors to look like a premeditated murder, and in part because the evidence that would have been presented at trial would have shown her connection to the robbery.Peterson said this morning he wasn't sure how the plea might affect the other two defendants. Ogden is scheduled to go to trial July 21, and Sayachack's third trial is scheduled for Sept. 22

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Contract Killers Shakeel and Abu Zar killed businessman Arun Gupta outside his Kalkaji home.

Intensive raids are on in Delhi, Bulandshahr and Meerut to catch the hitmen - Shakeel and Abu Zar - who actually pulled the trigger on April 7, killing businessman Arun Gupta outside his Kalkaji home. Sleuths of Delhi Police's special cell are also looking for one Afroz, who served as a middleman.
Gupta's brother-in-law, Dinesh Mittal, who has been arrested for plotting his killing, has apparently told the police that he was "confident" of getting away with the murder, as even if the contract killers were arrested, they could never have recognised him. According to the police, Dinesh had even tried black magic to get rid of his brother-in-law and sister. He had got in touch with a 'tantrik' in January for the purpose.
"Dinesh grew more confident after the local cops failed to establish his connection with Haroon after calling the latter for questioning at Kalkaji police station. He thought he can get away with the murder," said an officer of the special cell.
Weeks before the murder, Mittal had reportedly met Haroon and Pervez twice near Okhla. He had parked his car at a distance and then gone to pay them Rs 2 lakh as advance for the killings, on two occasions. The country-made weapon seized from Pervez's home on Monday has been sent for forensic tests to ascertain if it was used in the crime. The cops, meanwhile, are planning to seek an extension of Dinesh's custody. "So far, he has maintained that it was a constant bickering over Mittal senior's property and FDs that had provoked him to hire killers to get rid of his sister and brother-in-law," said a senior officer. Another accused, Mohammad Junaid, who was arrested from Dilshad Garden on Monday, was sent to eight days in police custody on Tuesday. He has also refused to undergo a test identification parade (TIP). The police said that the killers chose to kill Gupta near his house as it was easily accessible and they had done a recee of the house earlier. They had taken a supari of Rs 10 lakh to kill both Gupta and his wife, but luckily Sadhna did not come out of the house that day. The police so far have not ruled out the roles of Dinesh's second wife Rekha Mittal and elder brother Sneh Mittal. "They too will be called for questioning soon," said an officer. They are meanwhile examining the unregistered will of Mittal Gardens owner, Madan Lal Mittal, for further leads into the property dispute which claimed his son-in-law's life.

Gino "G" Free"Nite Nite" Pitts,"Grimmie Gang" so controlled the drug trade in Avondale that if you sold drugs there, you had to pay them a street tax.

Over the last decade, members of the "Grimmie Gang" so controlled the drug trade in Avondale that if you sold drugs there, you had to pay them a street tax."If you didn't, they'd kill you," Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas Streicher Jr. said.
An indication of the gang's brutality came Thursday when nine of its members were indicted in Hamilton County for murder involving five separate killings. "This was a very bad group," Streicher said."Their original intention when they started out ... was to take a name that showed they were dirty and grimy and willing to do anything."
Thursday's homicide indictments came a day after several members of the gang, also called the "A-1 Darkside," were sentenced to from five to 30 years on drug-related charges in federal court. Eight of the gang members received a total of 134 years on the federal court drug convictions.Indicted Thursday for murder were:
Jeffrey "Nice" or "Nite Nite" Pitts, 26, of South Fairmount.
Gino "G" Freeman, 28, of Avondale.
Charles "Little Charlie" Murrell, of the West End.
"Big Head" Brandon Rice, of Northside.
Tristin "G.A." Regland, of Evanston.
Quincy "Q Ball" Jones, of Madisonville.
Alphonso "Pretty Al" Ingersol, 32, of North Avondale.
John Brown, of Fairmount.
Dameon "Dumb Dino" Caesar, of the West End.
Each was indicted on at least one murder charge. Each murder charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison
"This was relentless police work by the Cincinnati Police Department," Prosecutor Joe Deters said
Cincinnati police have been investigating the notorious gang, known as major players in the local heroin and cocaine markets, for years but were unable to get close.
That changed when the feds got involved.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney's office started helping the locals.The federal agencies were able to obtain wiretaps on gang members' phones.Fred Alverson, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Greg Lockhart, said federal officials handled the drug and racketeering investigation while local authorities focused on the homicides. He said the work paid off because the investigation of one crime often led to another.
"That's the beauty of a joint investigation," Alverson said. "You can clear up a lot of crimes in one investigation."The size and scope of the gang posed a threat to the entire community. "The people who should be relieved are the folks who live in the neighborhood," Alverson said.And it may not be the end.
"These are cases that otherwise would not have been solved," Streicher said. "We're convinced that they're either tied to, involved in or have knowledge of other homicides."In the first homicide case Thursday, Pitts and Murrell are accused of the Nov. 26, 2002, killing of bootleg cabbie Charles Barfield.
Pitts, the gang's enforcer, and Murrell wanted a ride to a place they planned to rob. When Barfield refused to take them in his cab, the indictment alleges they shot Barfield in the head, killing him.Rice and Regland are also accused in the July 31, 2005, killing of Luke "Dread Luke" Gamble.Gamble was believed to be a drug dealer shot to death by Rice and Regland when they tried to rob him, the indictment alleges.Freeman, Rice and Jones are accused of the July 6, 2005, killing of Jamal "Mac Mal" Anderson.Anderson was the owner of Humble Bee's Chicken Stand and, authorities believed, a drug dealer. Grimmie Gang members accused Anderson of stealing four ounces of cocaine from Freeman nine years earlier.The indictment alleges Jones shot and killed Anderson after Freeman promised to forgive a $3,000 debt Jones owed him. Anderson was sitting in his car when he was killed.The fourth murder indictment accuses Rice, Ingersol and Jones of getting into a July 12, 2005, gun battle with another man and fatally shooting Cleveland Parker, 57, who lived upstairs from the intended target.
The last case perhaps best exemplifies the violent world in which the gang members thrived.
Drug dealer Antonio Whitehead was angry when he fronted Freeman a large amount of cocaine and Freeman ultimately refused to pay for the drugs.
An irate Whitehead put out a contract on Freeman, seeking to have him killed. When Freeman found out, the indictment alleges, Freeman put out a hit on Whitehead.
Brown and Caesar are accused of gunning Whitehead down March 17, 2005, as he sat in his car in a drive-through.
Three of the gang members - Pitts, Freeman and Regland - were indicted last year in Hamilton County on yet another homicide.They are accused of the July 24, 2005, killing of Gregory Ellis. Ellis was a rival drug dealer who police say was killed after being robbed of money and jewelry.

Amit Kumar, Deepak, Sandeep Tomar and Sanjiv. confessed they specialized in contract killings

The Noida police Sunday said they have bust a gang of four criminals operating in and around the national capital region (NCR). The police in a press release said the criminals were planning to rob an ATM at a shopping mall in Sector 62 Noida. On being questioned by a police patrol, they started firing at the team. The police retaliated and soon overpowered them. Two pistols, a gun and six cartridges along with three mobile phones and a Maruti van were seized ffrom the four gangsters.
City police superintendent Sadhna Goswami said the criminals during sustained interrogation disclosed their identities as Amit Kumar, Deepak, Sandeep Tomar and Sanjiv. A criminal history of the four indicated they were active criminals in Ghaziabad, Noida, Baghpat, Muzaffar Nagar and Meerut areas. They confessed they specialized in contract killings, extortion, acquiring disputed properties in the NCR, added Goswami.

Veer Pal Kaur planned her mother’s murder and hired two contract killers for the job

This is one area that could have done without gender equality. Honour killing, hitherto the domain of angry males, now has in 20-year-old Veer Pal Kaur its first woman trigger.The girl planned her mother’s murder and hired two contract killers for the job who eliminated Mohinder Kaur (45) in Malout town here on Saturday.
Veer Pal was incensed over her mother’s "illicit relationships" with two men who would frequent the house, with one of them routinely staying back with her overnight.
A source said Veer Pal decided on extreme action when, despite repeated suggestions and warnings, Mohinder continued with her liasions without a thought to the family’s prestige.During police interrogation, it was revealed that the girl hired two persons and promised to pay them Rs 1 lakh to get her mother killed.
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