DA: Man lured by escort, held captive for retirement money in dungeon resembling ‘scene from Dexter’

Police told prosecutors that the dungeon in which Moir was held looked like "a scene out of Dexter."

An escort and her boyfriend’s cousin were today convicted for their roles in a 2008 plot to lure a 66-year-old man to Philadelphia, imprison and torture him in a basement dungeon police described as “a scene from Dexter” and steal his retirement funds.

Prosecutors said 26-year-old Jennifer Konopki, of Dallas, Pa., plotted with her boyfriend, Brandon Lee, 30, and his cousin, Joseph Holmes, also 30, to lure 66-year-old Robert Moir to Philadelphia. Konopki met Moir, who the District Attorney’s Office described as “a lonely older man,” through her work as an escort and had for years been manipulating him into giving her money.

Around Oct. 24, 2008, Konopki told Moir that she and her baby were stranded in Philadelphia and needed a ride back to Wilkes-Barre. After Moir arrived, Konopki convinced him to take her shopping, then drive her to what she claimed was her uncle’s house in Feltonville, where she said they could pick up her child.

When Moir entered the home, he was assaulted by two masked men – later identified as Lee and Holmes -  who shoved a pillowcase over his head, stripped and gagged him and took him to “a dungeon like basement,” the District Attorney’s Office said. There, they handcuffed, hogtied, beat and pistol-whipped Moir as all three defendants demanded access to his retirement money.

The trio made away with Moir’s ATM card, draining it at a number of locations. But while they were out, an unknown young man inside the home apparently took pity on the retiree, untying him, dressing him as best he could and leading to the door. Prosecutors said he told Moir, “Get out of here – they are going to kill you when they get back.”

Officials with the Highway Patrol Unit, the 25th District and the East Detective Division were almost immediately able to find the victim’s car and the gun used in the crime: a Tech 9 that “resembled a small machine gun,” according to the District Attorney’s Office. Evidence in the case against the three defendants included post-arrest prison letters and phone tapes discussing the plot.

Lee pleaded guilty in January of 2011 to aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping for ransom and carrying an unlicensed firearm. He was sentenced to multiple five-to-15 year sentences, to be served concurrently at the State Correctional Institute in Graterford, Pa.

Holmes, who is currently incarcerated at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility, was today found guilty of aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping for ransom, carrying a prohibited firearm and possession of an instrument of crime. His sentencing has been deferred until Feb. 7. Holmes is already serving life in prison after being convicted in June 2011 of first-degree murder for the death of 25-year-old Donovan Weary, who was shot twice in the head in West Oak Lane nearly five years ago.

Still, the case was not without its challenges. “This trial took over three weeks,” a release from the District Attorney’s Office stated. “During which time defendant Konopki fled and had to be tried in absentia, defense counsel was hospitalized and a hurricane shut down the proceedings.”

Konopki was convicted of aggravated assault, robbery, criminal conspiracy, kidnapping for ransom and possessing an instrument of crime. A bench warrant was issued for her arrest after she failed to appear for a Nov. 1 court date. Her sentencing has been deferred until Feb. 7.


Interfaith leaders denounce anti-Muslim harassment in Brooklyn

Community leaders of all faiths gathered in Brooklyn on Tuesday to push back on what they described as hateful acts against the local Muslim community.


Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita…


NYPD: Robber makes elderly man drive to Queens…

A robber grabbed an elderly man's neck outside a Queens supermarket, stole his wallet and made him drive to ATMs for withdrawals last week, police said.


Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.


'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.


PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.


Theater: “Love and Human Remains” is like a…

"Love and Human Remains" is the worst show we've ever not walked out of.


Review: 'A Most Wanted Man' works better when…

In one of his last roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman headlines the John Le Carre adaptation of "A Most Wanted Man," about the pursuit of a Chechen refugee.


MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack


2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?


5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.


'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.


5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.


Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…


Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.


Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.