True Crime News Roundup: Newlywed Couple Fatally Shot, Groom’s Missing Brother ‘Considered Endangered’
Plus: College cult-leader dad found guilty of sex trafficking; trial begins for romance novelist accused of murdering husband; prosecutors decline to press charges in Amir Locke shooting; rapper Tory Lanez accused of violating protective order.
Police in Virginia search for answers in the case of a newlywed couple found shot dead in their home.
A newlywed couple reportedly married less than a month was found fatally shot in Virginia, and police are searching for the groom’s brother who suddenly vanished.
Virginia Beach police discovered the bodies of Talon Rodgers and Alisa Wash inside their apartment on April 4 and said their murders did not appear to be related to a domestic incident.
A short time later, authorities investigating what they called a “complex” case announced that they were trying to locate Rodgers’ 20-year-old brother, Collin Rodgers, who may have been living in the 23-year-old victims’ residence, according to WVEC-TV.
“Due to the unknown circumstances surrounding his disappearance, Rodgers is considered endangered,” police said in a statement.
The missing Rodgers was last seen at his parents’ Yorktown home on March 27. According to authorities, he may be driving a 2008 Hyundai Tiburon with the Virginia license plate 4871XH.
Anyone with information related to the case is requested to call the Virginia Beach Police Department Detective Bureau at (757) 385-4101 or anonymously through Crime Solvers at (888) LOCK-U-UP.
A jury finds college cult leader Larry Ray guilty of sex trafficking and other federal charges.
After a nearly month-long trial in Manhattan, the 62-year-old man who was accused of living in his daughter’s dorm in Westchester County, New York, and manipulating and abusing her roommates and others was found guilty on 15 federal counts, including sex trafficking, forced labor, tax evasion, extortion, racketeering conspiracy, and money laundering, among others, federal prosecutors announced on April 6.
“Twelve years ago, Larry Ray moved into his daughter's dorm room at Sarah Lawrence College,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “And when he got there, he met a group of friends who had their whole lives ahead of them. For the next decade, he used violence, threats, and psychological abuse to try to control and destroy their lives. He exploited them. He terrorized them. He tortured them.”
Williams added of the self-proclaimed mentor and therapist: “Let me be very clear. Larry Ray is a predator. An evil man who did evil things.”
Ray faces up to life behind bars when he is sentenced in September.
The trial begins for a romance novelist accused of killing her chef husband almost four years ago.
A writer known for penning racy romance novels is on trial in Portland, Oregon, for allegedly murdering her husband of almost 20 years.
On June 2, 2018, Daniel Brophy, a 63-year-old chef and instructor, was fatally shot in the back and chest and found by his students in a kitchen at the Oregon Culinary Institute.
Several months later, in September, Brophy’s wife, 71-year-old Nancy Crampton-Brophy, was arrested and charged with his slaying.
Prosecutors alleged the author — who famously posted a 2011 blog post titled “How to Murder Your Husband” — killed Brophy because the couple was having financial problems and she hoped to cash in on life insurance policies, CNN reported.
“Dan Brophy was content in his simplistic lifestyle, but Nancy Brophy wanted something more,” prosecutors claimed in court documents obtained by the network. “As Nancy Brophy became more financially desperate and her writing career was floundering, she was left with few options ....”
“Dan Brophy was worth almost $1.5 million to Nancy Brophy if he was dead and he was worth a life of financial hardship if he stayed alive,” prosecutors claimed. “Nancy Brophy planned and carried out what she believed was the perfect murder. A murder that she believed would free her from the grips of financial despair.”
Crampton-Brophy has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge against her.
In opening statements, her defense attorney insisted that “Nancy Crampton-Brophy has always been thoroughly, madly, crazy in love with Daniel Brophy, and she still is to this day.”
The defendant reportedly is expected to take the stand during the trial that could run into May.
Officer who fatally shot Amir Locke while serving a no-knock warrant will not face charges, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors in Minnesota announced that they will not pursue criminal charges in the death of Amir Locke, a Black man who was shot dead when authorities executed a pre-dawn no-knock warrant on an apartment he was sleeping in last winter.
A legal team representing Locke’s loved ones said the decision was deeply unsettling.
“The tragic death of this young man, who was not named in the search warrant and had no criminal record, should never have happened,” they said in a statement.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison also issued a statement in which he noted that although Locke “was not a suspect, he was a victim” when shot three times by Minneapolis police officer Mark Hanneman. He added “there is insufficient admissible evidence to file criminal charges in this case.”
“I am not disappointed — I am disgusted with the City of Minneapolis,” Locke's mother, Karen Wells, said at a news conference, ABC News reported. “Can you imagine knowing that you'll never get to see your 22-year-old baby ever again?”
A judge revokes rapper Tory Lanez’s original bail in connection to the Megan Thee Stallion shooting case.
On April 5, authorities took Tory Lanez — the Canadian-born rapper accused of felony assault charges for allegedly shooting at 27-year-old Megan Thee Stallion’s feet in July 2020 — into custody for violating a protective order in the case, Rolling Stone reported.
Lanez, 29, was handcuffed after a judge revoked Lanez’s $250,000 bail and raised it to $350,000.
According to the publication, the entertainer, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, spent five hours in custody before he posted the new amount and was released on what the judge instructed was the “crystal clear” condition Lanez “cannot mention the complaining witness [Megan Pete, known as Megan Thee Stallion] in this case in any social media.”
As CrimeFeed previously reported, on Feb. 23, YouTube personality DJ Akademiks tweeted that Lanez’s “DNA was not found on the weapon in the Meg Thee Stallion case.”
The claim led to accusations that the rapper provided DJ Akademiks with discovery related to the case, allegations Lanez’s defense lawyer adamantly denied.
In a follow-up to Akademiks’ since-deleted tweet, Lanez allegedly wrote that “Ak is telling no lies.”
“The court cannot conclude the defendant distributed anything, however it does appear that he violated the order that prohibits him from making any statements regarding discovery,” the judge said when revoking Lanez’s original bail.
Lanez has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, and the case is currently scheduled to go to trial in mid-September.