ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The man accused of organizing a murder plot involving Justin Bieber and three other has now reached a settlement.
KRQE News 13 has learned that convicted killer and rapist Dana Martin has pled guilty in the case, but only part of it.
The plea deal Martin agreed to on Friday only accepts blame for trying to kill two people in Vermont, but police say Bieber and his bodyguard were next.
“Mr. Martin made the decision to go ahead and plead to these two counts, for a variety of reasons,” said Gerard Montrose, attorney for Dana Martin.
The deal was reached in Dona Ana County District with Martin pleading guilty on two counts of “solicitation to commit first degree murder.”
Investigators say the plot targeted four people in all, with Martin talking about the idea over the phone while in prison in Las Cruces. Martin asked one of the suspected hitmen to strangle the victims with a paisley tie, then castrate the victims with pruning scissors.
“He was going to handle the whole putdown of the dog and then I was going to go ‘snip, snip,’ ” said Tanner Ruane, one of the suspected co-conspirators in a phone call with Martin while Martin was in prison.
Martin confessed to the plot in December 2012 after it fell apart. Martin is already serving a life sentence in the state’s “Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility” in Las Cruces for raping and murdering a 15-year old girl in Vermont in 2000.
While in prison there, Martin told authorities that he recruited fellow inmate Mark Staake to kill two former witnesses against him in Vermont, then to kill Bieber and his bodyguard in New York City. Martin told authorities that he was upset that the pop star never wrote back to him.
When Staake got out of prison, he and his nephew Tanner Ruane drove to Vermont. Investigators say Ruane told Martin about wanting to castrate the victims as well in his recorded phone conversations with Martin.
“We went and we bought, you know, the f**king hedge clippers, the hand hedge clippers,” said Ruane.
“You got to be kidding me,” Martin replied.
“Hell yeah dude, that was all me, I was going to get down and dirty,” said Ruane.
But Staake and Ruane took a wrong turn in Vermont, wound up at the Canadian border, and Staake was arrested for violating probation because he had left New Mexico.
A day later, Ruane aborted the plan and Martin blabbed to authorities about it. Investigators believe Martin still wanted the notoriety for attempting the crime. Martin’s attorney explained the plea deal.
“Provide a result that Mr. Martin was the most beneficial to him,” said Montrose.
Martin was only charged for plotting to kill the two witnesses in Vermont. However, investigators believe that Martin really did want Bieber and his bodyguard killed as well. We tried to ask prosecutors why they didn’t charge Martin for that part of the plot, but never heard back from them on Friday.
Martin will be sentenced in the next couple weeks once the plea deal is signed. According to the deal, he will receive nine years for the crime, however, Martin is already serving a life sentence. Ruane could strike a plea deal in the case late next week. Staake has a trial set for late next month.