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Contract killer in Lithia murder gets life in prison

TAMPA — A federal judge sentenced a contract killer to life in prison Wednesday in connection with the 2007 murder of Thomas Lee Sehorne, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors said Luis Angel Lopez, 25, was hired by Sehorne's wife and her boyfriend to kill him so they could collect insurance money. Court documents show Cristie Fay Sehorne and Jerry Bortoff offered Lopez $60,000.

Lopez met the couple through Michael Garcia, who rode with him on June 7, 2007, when Lopez shot Thomas Sehorne in the head and chest at his home in Lithia.

Cristie Sehorne reported the murder that morning, and moved her two children to Jerry Bortoff's home that night. She collected life insurance money for Sehorne's death and married Bortoff in December 2008.

Officers arrested Garcia in 2008 and he began cooperating with the investigation.

Deputies arrested the Bortoffs and Lopez in May 2011 and charged them with use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting the carrying of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence resulting in death.

The Bortoffs pleaded guilty and were sentenced to life in prison. Along with Lopez's life sentence, the court issued a judgment against him for $1,043,517.99 — the amount of life insurance collected. Garcia, who testified at both trials, has pleaded guilty to his own role in the murder and will be sentenced Friday.

Contract killer in Lithia murder gets life in prison 01/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 6:25pm]
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