For almost six years, Kimberly Pack pushed and prodded authorities to investigate her stepfather, Dr. James Kauffman, for the fatal shooting of her mom, who was found dead on May 10, 2012, in her home on the Jersey Shore.
A New Jersey doctor is accused of hiring a man to kill his wife after she planned to divorce him and expose his illegal drug operation with the Pagan Motorcycle Gang, prosecutors said Tuesday. Six other people have also since been arrested, and face racketeering charges linked to this case.
Kauffman "was intent to have [April] killed, as opposed to losing his financial empire", Atlantic County prosecutor Damon Tyner said.
Tyner said that Kauffman told Augello about his wife's threats and solicited him to have her killed. Both Augello and Kauffman were charged with racketeering charges.
Kauffman's attorney, Edwin Jacobs of Jacobs and Barbone in Atlantic City, maintained his client's innocence as he has for the last five and a half years.
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In the summer of 2011, April Kauffman wanted a divorce and after James Kauffman objected she threatened to expose the drug ring, Tyner said. He died from a drug overdose sometime after committing the murder.
Ferdinand Augello, the Pagan charged with finding someone to kill April Kauffman, also was charged Tuesday with trying to have James Kauffman killed, authorities said.
The killing took place on the morning of May 10, 2012.
April was found murdered in the Linwood home she shared with Dr. James Kauffman, 69, in May 2012.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office, the FBI and the Linwood, Egg Harbor Township, Somers Point and Lower Township police departments all collaborated on the investigation.
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The suspect has continued to stress that he was not involved in his wife' death. The doors were left open and Francis Mullholland was given a gun. Francis Mullholland has stated that he received approximately $20,000 in cash for his role, though this number has been speculated at being higher, said authorities.
In June, a Superior Court judge ordered Kauffman to be held in jail following a standoff at Kauffman's Egg Harbor Township office after he showed a gun when investigators arrived with a search warrant.
April Kauffman's daughter, Kimberly Pack, who had long alleged that her stepfather killed her mother, said the death "forever changed my life". "I think for the first time, today I can actually breathe".
"I have been waiting patiently for justice, and today I was lucky enough to be granted justice", she told the press on 9 January.
On June 13, when police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrived to execute a search warrant at his Ocean Heights Avenue medical office, Kauffman pulled out a 9 mm handgun, leading to a 45-minute standoff before he eventually surrendered. She was found shot to death - and face down - in a second-floor bedroom.
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"He brandished a weapon, a 9mm Ruger handgun and at that time it was necessary for us to bring in a hostage negotiator", said Tyner.