Five suspects — including two who were already behind bars — are accused of a murder-for-hire plot that targeted the alleged victim of a previous crime.
The suspects sought to kill the victim of a 2017 armed motorcycle hijacking. Kwame Akintunde Abayomi, 31, faces charges for in connection to that crime, and is one of the people charged in the plot to kill the victim, according to the Forsyth County [Georgia] Sheriff's Office.
The others arrested are:
- Shelby Fairley, 29, who occupied the same cell block and pod as Abayomi. He was previously indicted for rape, aggravated child molestation and aggravated sexual battery.
- Quinton Ingram, 30, Fairley’s brother and planned hitman. He was reportedly paid about $6,000 to kill the victim of the armed robbery to prevent him from testifying in court.
- Claritza Castillo Gomez, 30, the mother of Abayomi’s children. She handled his business and money while he was in jail and communicated with him, officials stated.
- Miliyah Franklin, 19, Abayomi’s current girlfriend, who met up with Ingram to allegedly set up the planned murder and handled monetary transactions.
All five suspects are being held in the Forsyth County Jail without bond. They are charged with conspiracy to commit murder.
“In three decades of doing this, this is the first time that I have seen this many individuals conspire to commit the murder of a victim of a crime,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said in a press conference that was posted on social media.
“This is not a case to take lightly. Make no bones about it, they are not very good at their craft or what they’re trying to do, but this is a serious case.”
While in jail, police say Abayomi was the “mastermind” of the plan. Freeman said the suspects used “various means of communication including coded messages to facilitate the hiring of a hitman and ultimately murder our victim.”
While at Forsyth County Jail, Freeman said Abayomi met Fairley, who contacted a hitman through coded messages. A cipher for the messages was found in a sweep of Abayomi’s cell phone.
Though Gomez received a coded note from a former cellmate of Abayomi and paid the hitman, that person allegedly took the money and disappeared.
After the first potential hitman left, Franklin and Gomez met and paid Ingram about $6,000 to murder the victim, according to authorities.
The victim was reportedly robbed at gunpoint when he tried to sell his motorcycle on Craigslist to Abayomi. The murder-for-hire plot apparently was planned to keep the victim from testifying at the trial.
“We believe our victim was hours, if not days, from an attempt on his life,” Freeman said.
While the plan was to silence the victim, Freeman said that the investigation into the murder-for-hire plot uncovered more evidence about the original alleged crime involving the motorcycle.
The victim of the crime said he wanted to remain anonymous, but released a statement that was read at the press conference.
“When I was made aware the suspect in my robbery case wanted to have me murdered, obviously I was concerned and scared,” the victim said. “This all seemed surreal and something you would see in the movies. To receive the news all the people involved have been arrested is a sigh of relief.”
“The detectives have kept me up to date and made sure I was aware of what was going on. I can’t believe how determined and caring these deputies were in making sure I was safe and these individuals were arrested.”