Murder for Hire: Colorado Family Recalls Living in Fear


The alleged offer was to kill Wells' wife, brother-in-law and sister, Tammy Rafferty, for $5,000 per killing.

Sher said that after using cocaine in the preceding hours, he entered the Rafferty home armed with guns and a knife and found Amara Wells' room downstairs. He told Weaver he shot at Wells with a revolver and tossed away that gun. Wells tried to run but Sher said he stabbed her at the bottom of a staircase.

Sher described what happened next in the interrogation transcript.

Weaver: OK. And they, he [Bob] came out, what was he carrying?
Sher: A rifle.
Weaver: Shotgun, right?
Sher: Shotgun.
Weaver: Shotgun. Fight on?
Sher: Yea.
Weaver: Yea. See that little L mark right there (gesturing to Sher's forehead)?
Sher: Um hum.
Weaver: Matches the ring he had on.
Sher: (nodding head yes)
Weaver: Got you pretty good at least a couple time, didn't he? Sher: Yeah.
Weaver: Yeah. So with him ... was it you that caused the big dent in the wall or was it him?
Sher: Me
Weaver: He pushed you into the wall?
Sher: Um hum.

Sher eventually managed to kill Rafferty, shooting him in the chest.

"Bob was an incredible hero that night," said Tammy Rafferty. "That's the person he was, how deeply he loved his family."

During the lengthy interrogation, Sher said he wasn't alone and that his friend, Matthew Plake, had actually helped him scout the home and then drove him there the night of the killings.

Weaver knew he needed to get a confession from Plake. He mentioned the victim's 6-year-old daughter to help get it.

"We're gonna let you write and apology letter to the 6-year-old girl who watched her mother die," Weaver said.

Plake replied, "Oh, Jesus," and started telling what he said was the truth.

"I did not know he went in there to do that," Plake said. "I thought he was gonna just try to make some money."

Plake told investigators there were moments during the crime when he didn't know what was going on, but he'd known Sher since he was 13 or 14 years old.

"I've always followed Josiah," Plake said to investigators. "Josiah says to do something, he's always looked out for me, he's always been there for me."

Plake eventually told investigators that he drove Sher to the Rafferty home in the early morning of Feb. 23, and when they got to there, Sher got out of the car and entered the front door.

Police believe Plake never entered the Rafferty home, but waited outside in the get-away car.

Plake said he turned the car around so it was in the driveway facing the street, and later Sher came running out of the house and said, "We gotta go."

"This is the biggest ... mistake I've ever made in my life," said Plake to sheriff's investigators. "I wasn't thinking and I wasn't questioning him [Sher]."

Finding Justice

After the murders, both families -- including Tammy Rafferty and her two children, and Jack and Melissa Brown and their children -- were put into protective custody by police along with Chris and Amara Wells' 6-year-old daughter. Investigators feared someone else might be out there with orders to kill them.

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