A Buchanan County Jail inmate and a St. Joseph resident were charged Tuesday with plotting to murder a witness in a pending criminal case.
Doyle Brant, 69, formerly of Agency, Mo., and Alesia L. Rivera, 44, both were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, a Class B felony. While in custody, Mr. Brant, who faces a charge of statutory sodomy, and Ms. Rivera conspired to give a confidential informant $2,000 to commit the murder, authorities said.
“Brant promised to pay the person a fee to commit that murder,” a court statement detailed. “Brant spoke to a member of the community to facilitate the payment.”
Buchanan County Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Scroggins alleged that Ms. Rivera was the member of the community contacted to see the deal through between Aug. 25 and Sept. 8, according to court files.
“Alesia Rivera conspired with Doyle Brant and another inmate in the Buchanan County Jail to commit murder (in the) first degree,” stated the probable cause statement filed against Ms. Rivera.
Detectives Thomas Cates and Kenneth Shyrock of the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department said the deal meant to have Ms. Rivera deliver $1,000 before the murder, and then Ms. Rivera would facilitate another $1,000 after the deal was completed.
The plot was uncovered as a joint-investigation between the criminal investigation unit and the Buchanan County Corrections Unit with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department.
According to the felony complaints, Ms. Rivera spoke with Mr. Brant via video chat from the Buchanan County Jail and she agreed to meet another individual to further the conspiracy.
“Just about every communication in our jail is monitored,” said Capt. Mark Brock with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Department’s criminal investigation unit. “There are so many ways (inmates) try to communicate, but with electronic communication these days … even though (inmates) are told that these things are being recorded or monitored, they still do it and it can be detrimental.”
Mr. Brant initially was placed in custody in February for second-degree statutory sodomy, a Class C felony. Mr. Brant allegedly sodomized a 14-year-old girl, identified by her initials, at a residence in Agency, Mo., in 2006.
Court documents identified the target in the murder-for-hire plot having the same initials.
“I’ve been in (law enforcement) for 30 years now, and in my career I’ve seen it twice,” Mr. Brock said, regarding the rarity of the case. “Both times, it’s been people who are pretty desperate, facing a long time in prison, and they are just thinking of ways to get out of prison.”
In 2004, David Fitzpatrick was found guilty of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in a similar murder-for-hire plot.
Mr. Fitzpatrick was in custody on drug charges when he met with a Buchanan County Drug Strike Force informant, who was being held on a charge of receiving stolen property. The pair planned to kill an Atchison, Kan., police officer between Jan. 31 and March 11, 2000. He later was found guilty by jury trial in 2004.
Mr. Brant was scheduled for a jury trial on Dec. 10 on the sodomy charge. He was denied bond and is scheduled for arraignment Friday on the conspiracy charge.
No arraignment or bond information was available for Ms. Rivera.