Illinois man in Missouri court over Florida murder-for-hire plot

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An Illinois man appeared in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau on Tuesday, facing a criminal complaint that accuses him of attempting to hire someone to murder a business associate in Florida.

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

The criminal complaint and affidavit, filed on Tuesday, allege Mullavey offered 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 progressing favorably, according to the charging documents.

The affidavit details that the individual Mullavey purportedly attempted to hire began cooperating with the FBI on January 3. This was after a meeting in Sikeston, Missouri, where Mullavey outlined his plans. Mullavey reportedly discussed the method of the murder and provided the name and description of his business partner, a Florida license plate to assist the hitman in blending in, a crossbow and arrows, expense money, a $1,000 “prepayment,” and directions to the restaurant adjacent to the target’s wine bar.

The murder-for-hire charge carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.

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

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