News and Press Releases

Portsmouth man Convicted for Hiring Friend to Murder Ex-Wife

February 1, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. – Larry Lingenfelter, 40, of Portsmouth, Va., was convicted today by a Norfolk federal jury on murder-for-hire charges.  After a six-day trial, Lingenfelter was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and two counts of murder-for hire.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after the verdicts were accepted by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson.  Lingenfelter faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit murder-for- hire, and 10 years for each murder-for-hire count.  Lingenfelter will be sentenced on May 18, 2011.

            “Mr. Lingenfelter tried to settle a custody battle by hiring a friend to murder his ex-wife,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “Thanks to the good work of law enforcement and the jury’s verdict today, he will be held accountable for his failed plans and his wife and daughters will be protected.”

Lingenfelter was indicted on Sept. 22, 2010, on three 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.  According to court records and evidence at trial, Lingenfelter hired his childhood friend Joseph Frampton to kill his ex-wife, the mother of his young triplet daughters.  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.  From March until June of 2010, the pair sought opportunities in Virginia and Texas for Frampton to commit the murder.  Twice, Lingenfelter provided money to Frampton to travel to Texas to kill the mother who was serving in the United States Army at Ft. Hood.

Joseph Frampton pled guilty to murder-for-hire on Nov. 4, 2010, and will be sentenced on Feb. 9, 2011.

            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 prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.

            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  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at or on



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