Sunday, February 19, 2017

Man Charged With Killing Wife, Murder-For-Hire Through Darknet​

Earlier this week, Stephen Carl Allwine from Cottage Grove, Oregon, was arrested and sent back to jail after local police discovered that Allwine attempted to track his 9-year-old son with a GPS installed on a smartwatch.

In late January, Allwine was arrested with allegations of murdering his wife. Local law enforcement agencies and police officers tracked Allwine’s activities in the dark web and discovered that the 43-year-old man ordered a murder-for-hire paid in bitcoin. Allwine offered US$5,000 in bitcoin to a darknet user by the alias of “Dogdaygod” to hit and run his wife Amy Allwine. Police stated that the payment was already made because Allwine’s bitcoin address was connected to Dogdaygod.

When police arrived at the scene, Allwine’s wife was found dead with a gunshot to her head. At the time, various police officers stated that evidences of a cover-up were found as they unanimously agreed that it was a strategically planned out murder.

Police is still yet to find conclusive evidence to connect the murder-for-hire with the actual shooting of Allwine’s wife. While Allwine did order a murder-for-hire paid in bitcoin, police weren’t able to uncover the identity of the individual behind the murder and if it is the identical person contacted and paid by Allwine.

Upon the arrival of local police at the scene in late November, there were letters addressed to Allwine’s wife. Some of the letters encouraged her to commit suicide in order to help her family and other were written notes detailing her thoughts of committing suicide supposedly drafted by Allwine’s wife. Not convinced by the letters and notes, police continued to investigate Allwine as the lead suspect.

The official charging document revealed by local publication Twin Cities read:

“Stephen Allwine and his son were standing in the open garage when police arrived. Allwine told officers where they could find his wife: in their bedroom. They found her, lying on the floor, a pool of blood under her head. She was warm to the touch, but officers could detect no pulse — “obviously dead,” authorities would later state publicly. The gun, a 9 mm Springfield XDS, was near her left forearm and elbow. She was right-handed, her parents said. There was no blood spatter, no soot, no gunpowder on her hands.

Eventually, Allwine was arrested and charged two months later in January, but was released on a $500,000 bail.

There existed some unusual elements of the investigation which led police to revisit the murder case. Amy Allwine previously applied for a premium life insurance offer, which guaranteed $700,000 upon the death of Amy. Police suspected that the husband eyed the insurance payment and ordered a murder-for-hire to obtain her insurance payout. Due to this ambiguity in the murder case of Amy Allwine, police kept a close watch on Stephen Allwine after the closure of the investigation.

A month later, police arrested Allwine again for illegally tracking his 9-year-old son using a GPS tracker installed on his smartwatch.

According to Fred Fink, criminal division chief in the county attorney’s office, the $500,000 settlement of Allwine was a conditional bail which effectively prohibited unsupervised visits with his son and any sort of communication with the family members of Amy.

After the arrest of Allwine, he stood in front of Judge Mary Hannon in a trial. Judge Hannon increased the conditional bail to $600,000 and asked Allwine to never contact his son and the family of Amy again. This decision of Judge Hannon was made after the strong case presented by Fink, who stated that the technological specialities of Allwine is worrisome, especially if they are being used with a criminal intent.

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