VA - Accused hit man faces death

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VA - Accused hit man faces death

Post  Jennie on Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:27 pm

Accused hit man faces death----The feds will seek the death penalty for a man accused of being paid to kill a Navy officer.


The government plans to seek the death penalty for a man accused of carrying out a murder-for-hire plot against a Navy officer for a $20,000 fee.

The U.S. Attorney's Office gave notice last week that it will ask for the death penalty if David Anthony Runyon charged with shooting Ensign Cory Allen Voss dead outside an Oyster Point ATM in April 2007 is found guilty.

Also on Friday, Catherina Rose Voss the slain sailor's wife pleaded guilty to five counts, including conspiracy to commit murder for hire. The agreement, which still must be approved by a judge at a November hearing, spares her the death penalty but sends her to prison for life.As part of her plea, Voss agreed to a statement of facts that gives a detailed account of the plot.

She is accused of conspiring with her lover, Michael Anthony Eric Draven whom she met while her husband was at sea to have Cory Voss killed. The motive for the crime, prosecutors said, was to be together, and to get their hands on money from a $400,000 life insurance policy that Cory Voss held through the Navy.

Federal prosecutors said the government would not seek the death penalty against Draven, who still faces the possibility of life in prison.

U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey made the decisions to seek the death penalty against Runyon but not Draven, said Lisa R. McKeel, an assistant U.S. attorney in Newport News.

Mukasey's office also decided to accept the plea agreement with Voss a deal sought by Voss' defense attorneys. Trials for Draven and Runyon are scheduled to begin in March in U.S. District Court.

According to the statement of facts that Voss signed Friday, she and Draven met in the fall of 2006 while Cory Voss, 30, a communications officer aboard the Norfolk-based USS Elrod, was on deployment.

Catherina Voss, 32, and Michael Draven, 27, took overnight trips together, communicated by phone and e-mail, talked about marriage and "referred to each other as husband and wife," the statement said.

That fall and spring, the Vosses were experiencing financial problems, including late mortgage payments, student loan and credit card debts "and (Catherina) Voss' prolific spending habits."

Catherina Voss "had no regular source of income" of her own. The Vosses, who married in 1999, had two children, ages 8 and 7.

In January 2007, Voss and Draven began talking about killing Cory Allen Voss, the statement of facts said, and asking around for people who could do it.

In February, Draven met David Anthony Runyon, 37, of West Virginia, while both were subjects for a medical research study in Baltimore.

Runyon, who once held jobs as an Army soldier and police officer, was experienced with guns.

In conversations that took place in person in Baltimore and then by phone and text messages, Draven and Runyon discussed killing Cory Voss, the statement said.

The statement said all 3 hatched a plan to have him shot to death outside the Langley Federal Credit Union, at 11742 Jefferson Ave.

It started when Catherina Voss opened an account there on April 20, 2007, and put $5 in it. On April 29, Runyon bought a .357-caliber revolver in Morgantown, W.Va., and came to Newport News.

At 11 p.m. that night, Catherina Voss asked her husband to go to the bank to withdraw $40 from the account she had put $5 in. He tried, but was having a hard time getting money.

At 11:33 p.m., Runyon suddenly showed up, got into Cory Voss' truck, and forced him at gunpoint to try to take money out of the machine, the statement of facts said.

Prosecutors say Runyon shot Cory Voss 5 times. His body was found the next morning.

Catherina Voss "attempted to create an alibi for herself as a concerned wife by calling area hospitals, police and other numbers trying to find Cory Allen Voss," the statement of facts said.

She reported him missing at 6:15 a.m., saying he had left late the night before to go the bank. Voss also asked her mother to ride around Newport News to search for him, the statement said.

In early May, Voss received $100,000 in death benefits from the Navy. By the end of July, she had spent it all, including $10,000 in jewelry for her and Draven during a trip to the Outer Banks. She also filed a claim for the $400,000 life insurance money, made repeated inquiries for it.

She never paid Runyon the $20,000, the statement of facts said.

(source: Daily Press)
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