News and Press Releases

Portsmouth Man Indicted for Hiring a Friend to Murder His Ex-Wife

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2010

NORFOLK, Va. - A federal grand jury has indicted Larry Lingenfelter, 40, of Portsmouth, Va. on multiple counts relating to his scheme to murder his ex-wife in order to avoid paying child support and to obtain custody of his triplet daughters.  Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the indictment was returned today.

“Larry Lingenfelter is accused of hiring a friend to murder his ex-wife,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Thanks to the thorough and coordinated investigation by law enforcement in Portsmouth and Texas, these men were arrested before anyone was harmed.”

            According to the indictment, Lingenfelter hired his childhood friend Joseph Frampton to kill his ex-wife, the mother of his young triplet daughters.  From March, 2010 until June, 2010, the pair sought opportunities in Virginia and Texas for Frampton to commit the murder.  On two occasions, Lingenfelter sent Frampton to Texas to kill the mother. The mother and daughters lived in Texas while the mother was serving in the United States Army at Ft. Hood.

The indictment further alleges that in April, 2010, Frampton was unable to follow through with the murder because there were too many people around the mother’s home.  In June 2010, Frampton made another trip to Texas, armed with information from Lingenfelter that the daughters would be visiting with their father in Virginia and the mother would be returning from a trip alone.  Frampton broke into her home, ransacked the bedroom, and confronted the mother when she came home.  At her first opportunity, the mother called the police, who responded and arrested Frampton. 

Court documents revealed that Lingenfelter provided money to Frampton to travel to Texas.  The agreement was for Lingenfelter to pay Frampton for committing the murder through inflated invoices for home improvement work done to Lingenfelter’s Portsmouth home.

Joseph Frampton was charged with murder-for-hire by a federal criminal complaint on August 19, 2010.  He was arrested in Texas on September 9, 2010 and is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshal.

            This case was investigated by the Norfolk office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Portsmouth, Virginia and Harker Heights, Texas police departments.  Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Haynie and Special Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Fitzwater are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

            Criminal indictments are only charges and not evidence of guilt.  Defendants are presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty.

                A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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