News and Press Releases

Portsmouth Man Sentenced in Murder-For-Hire Case

February 9, 2011

NORFOLK, Va. – Joseph Emery Frampton, 40, of Portsmouth, Va., was sentenced today in Norfolk federal court to six years and eight months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his conviction of attempted murder-for-hire. 

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Frampton was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Rebecca Beach Smith.  Frampton previously pled guilty to the charge on November 4, 2010.
According to court documents, Frampton was hired to murder the ex-wife of his childhood friend Larry Lingenfelter.  Lingenfelter agreed 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 his ex-wife, a commissioned officer who was serving in the United States Army at Ft. Hood.

            Larry Lingenfelter was convicted by a Norfolk federal jury on February 1, 2011.  After a six-day trial, he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and two counts of murder-for hire.  He sentencing has been scheduled for May 8, 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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