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Press Release

Illinois Man Accused of Seeking to Arrange Florida Murder

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

CAPE GIRARDEAU – A man from Illinois appeared in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau Tuesday to face a criminal complaint that accuses him of trying to hire someone to kill a business associate in Florida.

Ben Patrick Mullavey, 64, of Mechanicsburg, in Sangamon County, was charged with one felony count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

A criminal complaint and affidavit filed Tuesday accuses Mullavey of offering up to $10,000 for the murder of the Florida man. Mullavey claimed the man owed him $200,000 and a lawsuit over the money was not going well, the charging documents say.

The affidavit says the man Mullavey allegedly tried to hire began working with the FBI on January 3, after meeting with Mullavey in Sikeston, Missouri and hearing about his plans. Mullavey would eventually discuss the manner of the murder and supply the name and description of his business partner, a Florida license plate to help the hit man blend in, a crossbow and arrows, expense money, a $1,000 “prepayment” and directions to the restaurant next to the target’s wine bar, the affidavit says.

The murder-for-hire charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.

Charges set forth in a criminal complaint are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Shelton is prosecuting the case. 


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated January 16, 2024

Violent Crime