Be on the Lookout for Murder for Hire

PHOTO: Amara Wells

Details of a gruesome murder-for-hire plot in rural Colorado came to light in pretrial hearings for co-defendants Christopher Wells, Micah Woody, Josiah Sher and Matthew Plake Tuesday and Wednesday in Douglas County District Court.

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The lead investigator in the case revealed previously sealed details of the brutal Feb. 23, 2011, murders of 39-year-old Amara Wells and her brother-in-law, 49-year-old Robert Rafferty Jr. Douglas County Sheriff Sgt. Jason Weaver testified Tuesday and Wednesday, describing horrific new details including the horror lived out by Amara and Christopher Wells' 6-year-old daughter Alex.

Weaber testified that the young girl watched a man who she said "looked like a ninja" shoot her mom in the back. Alex told investigators she had to step over her dead mom's body and go upstairs only to witness the murder of her uncle Robert. She said that's when the suspect saw her and chased her through the house. She hid in her room and then ran out the garage to her neighbor's home, Weaber testified.

Douglas County Sheriffs Office got the 911 call from the neighbor's home and responded to the Rafferty house. Weaver described the gruesome scene he found upon arriving at the house. Weaver testified that he entered the home and found teeth scattered on the main floor that lead to Robert Rafferty's body. Weaver told the court that he found Rafferty in a pool of blood, shot in the chest, beaten and stabbed in the neck multiple times.

Weaver went on to testify that he then found Amara Wells' body covered in blood near the stairs. Weaver told the court at first that he couldn't see any gunshot wounds because there was so much blood. He did however see a knife wound -- her neck was slit open.

In a taped interview with suspect Josiah Sher the day of his arrest on charges of first degree murder, Sher explained the slit neck:

Weaver asked Sher, "Why did you slit her neck?" Sher replied, "To finish her."

The videotaped interview at the Douglas County Sheriff's office was shown in open court only after Sher's attorney objected to the viewing, saying that showing this video in open court could now "taint the jury pool." The other defense attorneys did not agree and argued that the video should be shown. After hearing the arguments, Judge Paul King ruled the video would be shown in the open court pretrial hearing.

The more than two-hour interview between Weaver and Sher revealed what Sher claimed was the truth of what happened the night Robert Rafferty and Amara Wells were killed. During the interrogation, Sher admitted he was the one who killed Rafferty and Wells. He said he was approached by co-defendant Micah Woody about a week before the murders with an alleged offer from Christopher Wells to kill his wife, Amara, brother-in-law Robert and Well's blood sister, Tamara Rafferty.

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