Man, accomplice plead guilty in murder-for-hire |

Man, accomplice plead guilty in murder-for-hire

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (AP) — A man accused of offering cash to have his estranged wife and brother-in-law killed pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of first-degree murder in a deal that spares him the death penalty.

The accused killer also pleaded guilty to the same counts.

Christopher Wells and accomplice Josiah Sher were each given two consecutive life sentences in the deaths of Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty in Rafferty’s home in Douglas County in 2011. Both were shot and stabbed.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Brett Cochran said the plea agreements will save Wells’ daughter, who was 6 at the time, from having to testify about seeing her mother’s body and watching the attack on her uncle.

Amara Wells had been staying with her in-laws as she tried to finalize her divorce from Christopher Wells.

Prosecutors said Christopher Wells, who was in jail before the killings on suspicion of violating a restraining order, had offered a total of $20,000 to have his wife, brother-in-law and sister killed, but his sister was away.

“My own brother made the decision to have us killed,” Tamara Rafferty said in court, adding that her brother has no soul or conscience.

Prosecutors said Matthew Plake and Micah Woody helped Sher carry out the plot. Plake and Woody reached plea agreements earlier and were recently sentenced to 48 years in prison.

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