NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – More than two years after a 65-year-old man was discovered dead in the woods of North Salem, those responsible for his death have been convicted with murder, kidnapping, robbery and unlawful imprisonment, Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced Thursday.
The defendants, Patrick Smith and Travis Morin, are connected to the kidnapping and murder of Florida native Epifanio Medina, whose decomposed body was found in North Salem’s Graymark Preserve in June, 2011 by two horseback riders. He had been living in Passaic, N.J.
He was known to carry large amounts of cash and wore a lot of flashy jewelry, police said.
The defendants were also charged for acting in concert with two other accomplices: Jessica French, who was an aspiring model, and her half-brother, Charles Blanchard.
“These two defendants, along with their convicted accomplices, in a methodical and calculated scheme spanning the east coast, met up New Hampshire and traveled to Northern New Jersey for the singular purpose of abducting and robbing the victim,” DiFiore said.
“They were so intent on taking his money and jewelry that they drove him around two states, ultimately beating him to death at a location so remote that it was nearly two weeks before his body was discovered,” she added.
New Hampshire native Blanchard pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree and kidnapping in the first degree in Jan. 2013.
Florida native French pleaded guilty in May 2012 to similar charges in Medina's death and awaits sentencing.
Florida native Smith, 26, was convicted with two counts of murder in the second degree, kidnapping in the first degree, robbery in the second degree and unlawful imprisonment -- all felonies. Police said he was French’s boyfriend at the time of the murder, and the father of her child.
New Hampshire native Morin, 26, was convicted with robbery and unlawful imprisonment – both felonies.
Smith faces 25 years to life in state prison. Morin faces a maximum of 15 years in state prison.
They will both be sentenced on Dec. 11, 2013.
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