Murder for Hire: Colorado Family Recalls Living in Fear


As the defense attorneys for the four co-defendants -- Christopher Wells, Josiah Sher, Matthew Plake and Micah Woody -- began to defend their clients, Amara Wells' brother-in-law, Jack Brown, said despite all the evidence pointing to Chris Wells as the mastermind behind the heinous crime, he would never admit he had anything to do with it.

"He [Wells] never apologized," said Jack Brown. "It was as if he really doesn't even think he did anything wrong."

The surviving members of the two grieving families had a decision to make: Did they want to see the men who conspired to kill their loved ones tried and face the death penalty, or would they allow them to take a plea deal so that Amara Wells' 6-year-old daughter, the only witness to the murders, would never have to take the stand?

The families chose not go after the death penalty, saying they had to protect this 6-year-old, who had already witnessed the unthinkable.

There was one catch. Wells said he would only plead guilty so that his daughter would not have to testify if he could record a message that the young girl would be required to watch. The family reluctantly agreed to the video and the young girl watched it.

"He put together a very short, cold videotape, basically that he wouldn't be able to see her anymore and, oddly enough, that, you know, she should be a good girl and stay out of trouble and not to do bad things," said Jack Brown.

Still Living in Fear

Christopher Wells is serving the rest of his life behind bars with no chance of parole, and so is Josiah Sher.

Micah Woody and Matthew Plake will not be released from prison for another 46 years for their roles in the murders of Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty.

Family members, however, said they are still not safe and still fear for their lives -- though they have been out of protective custody since soon after the murders.

Investigators told ABC News that Wells, though he is imprisoned, is receiving multi-hundred-dollar payments from a longtime friend of his. When contacted by ABC News, the man who police said is making the payments denied having any involvement and had no further comment.

Officials with the Colorado Department of Corrections said that Wells is receiving a large amount of money, but that they have control over what Wells does with the funds.

However, the family and the lead prosecutor who brought the charges against Wells believe the family is in danger as long as Wells is alive.

"I know what Chris does when he has access to money," said Tammy Rafferty. "His job isn't done, I think he wants to come after me because I wasn't home that night. And I think he wants to come after Melissa and Ed because they are now the parents of my niece."

Watch the full story on "20/20: The Ultimate Betrayal" TONIGHT at 10 ET.

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