Drug Enforcement Administration

New York

Raymond P. Donovan, Special Agent in Charge

May 23, 2016

Contact: Erin Mulvey

Phone Number: (212) 337-2906

Father, Girlfriend Of Rikers Island Inmate Charged With Conspiracy And Solicitation To Commit Murder

Allegedly tried to hire “hitman” to kill witnesses in inmate’s pending home invasion case

NEW YORK - - Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York (DEA), and New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, today announced that the father and girlfriend of a 36- year-old Queens man awaiting trial on two alleged armed home invasions that occurred in March 2015 have been charged with allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill multiple witnesses scheduled to testify in the inmate’s pending home invasion cases.

District Attorney Brown said, “Unfortunately, some criminals facing trial and possible imprisonment seek to improve their odds of avoiding punishment by intimidating or eliminating potential witnesses against them. The criminal justice system cannot function effectively if victims of and witnesses to crimes do not feel safe to report those crimes and cooperate in investigations and prosecutions. Police and prosecutors throughout this state and, indeed, across the country understand this very well and, consequently, are extremely vigilant to ensure the protection of witnesses. Witness protection is a top priority for law enforcement and when we learn of plans like the one these defendants allegedly made we do everything in our power to stop them. Our success here demonstrates that law enforcement is capable of thwarting criminals’ plots and that those who attempt such conduct will face strong laws and tough penalties.”

DEA Special Agent in Charge Hunt said, “A ‘hit’ was placed on the heads of an innocent family who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. DEA investigations usually uncover an array of crimes but the most heinous has always been cold-blooded murder. Through collaborative efforts, a murder plot was stopped and those responsible have been arrested. I would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners for their diligent work in this investigation.”

District Attorney Brown identified the two defendants as Latisha Larrymore, 31, and Eddie Marcus, 53, both of Jamaica, Queens. Larrymore and Marcus are presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court on a criminal complaint charging each of them with second-degree conspiracy and second-degree criminal solicitation to commit murder. If convicted, the defendants each face up to 25 years in prison.

District Attorney Brown said that over the course of the investigation various investigative techniques were utilized, including recording controlled meetings and telephone calls and listening to recorded Rikers Island telephone calls.

District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges in the underlying home invasion cases, Edward Leasure, 36, of Jamaica, Queens, approached a Queens residence on the morning of March 16, 2015, while wearing a ski mask and black jacket. It is alleged that Leasure knocked on the front door and when a 25-year-old female occupant opened the door, he stepped inside and stated, in sum and substance, “Where is he?” He then allegedly displayed a black firearm and led the female and another female, 52, into a bedroom and stated, in sum and substance, “Where is the safe? You had a big party Saturday night. I know you have a safe. Show me the safe or I’ll shoot your wife in the foot?” The older female then allegedly handed $300 in cash to Leasure, who at that point fled on foot from the residence.

Shortly thereafter, it is alleged that Leasure entered a second residence approximately four houses away from the first one while again wearing a ski mask and black jacket and punched the 63- year-old female occupant in the left shoulder, causing her substantial pain and requiring treatment at a local Queens hospital. Leasure then displayed what appeared to be a black handgun to the female occupant and to a 24-year-old male occupant and stated, in sum and substance, “Be calm. Don’t scream. I’m just going to wait until the police leave.” At one point, the male occupant received a telephone call from his brother and Leasure allegedly held what appeared to be a black handgun to the male occupant’s head and stated, in sum and substance, “Pick up the phone. Speak English. Anything other then English I’ll shoot you.” The brother, speaking in Bengali, allegedly stated, in sum and substance, “Is there a man in there with a gun? If there is, say ‘Okay. See you for dinner.’” The male occupant replied, in sum and substance, “Okay, okay, okay, yes dinner.”

At the time of Leasure’s arrest that day, police allegedly recovered a black 9mm Luger containing one magazine that was loaded with eight 9mm rounds of live ammunition, the ski mask, jacket, boots and pants from the locations that Leasure had allegedly placed them. In both instances, the alleged actions of Leasure inside the residences placed the occupants in fear of serious physical injury and death.

Leasure was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on March 18, 2015, on burglary, robbery, weapons possession and other charges and ordered held in jail in lieu of $200,000 bail. On June 11, 2015, Leasure was arraigned on an 8-count indictment charging him with two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, one count of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, one count of second-degree assault and one count of first-degree unlawful imprisonment. He continued to be held in jail in lieu of $200,000 bail. His next court date is June 21, 2016.

District Attorney Brown said that, according to the charges in the immediate case, Larrymore and Marcus conspired between April 29, 2016, and May 12, 2016, to hire a hitman to murder witnesses due to testify at Leasure’s upcoming home invasion trial. Specifically, it is alleged that Marcus approached a person known to the investigation and asked the individual to kill multiple witnesses who were set to testify at his son’s trial for a sum of currency. Marcus allegedly provided the names and addresses of the witnesses and a time frame within which the murders should be completed. Larrymore allegedly had subsequent recorded conversations with the individual where she discussed the payment for his services and the means by which the murders should be carried out. Larrymore allegedly advised the individual that she knew someone who could sell him a gun
and a silencer.

At the time of her arrest, Larrymore allegedly stated to police that (Edward Leasure) was worried about witnesses and that she received a call from Ed who told her to meet his father Eddie and that Eddie found a “lawyer” who will take care of the situation and that “lawyer” is the code word for hitman. Larrymore also allegedly stated to police that the hitman wanted $4,000 up front and that she told the hitman that the rest of the money would be paid after Ed was out of jail.

The investigation was conducted by Detective David Gilbert, of the Queens District Attorney’s NYPD Detective Squad, under the supervision of Sergeant Francis Teran and Captain John M. Zanfardino, Commander of the NYPD QDA Squad, and the overall supervision of Deputy Chief Michael Kemper, Chief of Queens South Detectives, and Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce.

Also assisting in the investigation was the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion (Group TDS-NY), which is comprised of agents and officers from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the New York City Police (NYPD), the New York State Police, Town of Orangetown Police Department and Westchester County Police Department.  Additional assistance was provided by the New York City Department of Investigation, Office of the Inspector General for the NYC Department of Corrections.

Assistant District Attorney Christine A. McCoy, of the District Attorney’s Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys James W. Evangelou, Bureau Chief, and Jennifer L. Naiburg, Deputy Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney for Trials James C. Quinn and Deputy Assistant District Attorney for Trials Laura M. Henigman.

It should be noted that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation and that the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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