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Chrisopher Wells: Alleged ringleader in Amara Wells, Bob Rafferty murders hits court (56, 57)

Update: Christopher Wells, Micah Woody, Josiah Sher and Matthew Plake -- the quartet accused in the murders of Robert "Bob" Rafferty and Amara Wells, Christopher's ex -- made first court appearances yesterday.

Among the charges Wells faces: first-degree murder, criminal solicitation and conspiracy.

Look below to see CBS4's video of the four modeling jail jumpers, followed by our earlier coverage.

Update, 9:51 a.m. March 2: The story of the double homicide that took the lives of Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty continues to take unexpected twists. Christopher Wells, Amara's ex-husband, has been charged in the killing, even though he was in custody for violating a restraining order when the bodies were discovered. Now, he and three alleged cohorts have been linked to the same Colorado Springs used-car dealership.

As reported by 7News, all four worked at Rocky Mountain Auto Brokers, with the operation's general manager saying two of the accused co-conspirators, Josiah Sher and Micah Woody, showed up at work a couple of days after the slayings looking "rough." He said Sher's face was covered with scratches.

Wells had been fired from his position as a finance manager prior to the killing, according to the report, and a fourth suspect, Matthew Plake, had also gotten the heave-ho from a sales position. This pair, along with Woody and Sher (an Army veteran who racked up a slew of run-ins with the law), were also connected through Facebook friendships. According to the "philosophy" section of Woody's Facebook page, "Being a pacifist between (sic) wars is like being a vegitarian (sic) between meals."

As the investigation continues and the media spotlight continues to shine, the families of Amara Wells and Robert Rafferty have issued a statement through the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. It reads:

The families of Bob and Amara would like to thank all of those who have expressed their sympathy and offered their prayers for their lost loved one's and the family. These two people were a gift to all that knew them. The families want to express their gratitude to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the state agencies and other jurisdictions who worked so diligently to bring quick arrests in this tragic and senseless crime.

The families are not willing or able to give interviews at this time as they wish to cooperate with the sheriff's office in their on-going investigation. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for the families and they ask that the public, and especially the media, respect their privacy and allow them time to grieve and deal with this tragedy. The family and their friends request that the media please cease all unsolicited calls or contact as it is causing distress.

Look below to see photos of the suspects, followed by our previous coverage:

Update, 1:10 p.m. February 28: Christopher Wells may have been in custody at the time the bodies of his ex-wife, Amara Wells, and Robert Rafferty were discovered -- but the Douglas County Sheriff's Office still believes he played a key role in their deaths. Along with Josiah Sher, Matthew Plake and Micah Woody, he's been charged with first-degree murder in the shocking double homicide.

At this writing, no mug shots are available, and all affidavits, arrest warrants and the like are off-limits, too. Presumably, more details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, look below for the information the DCSO has released to date, followed by our previous coverage.

Update:

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office Detectives continues to work this case and followed up on promising leads throughout the weekend.

Sheriff David A. Weaver has announced major developments in the case of the double homicide of Amara Wells, 39 and Robert D. Rafferty Jr., 49. This past Saturday and Sunday four suspects were taken into custody and are being held in conjunction with the double homicide.

Christopher Wells (49 YO): No Bond (Married to Amara Wells, but going through a divorce)

18-3-102 (3): Murder in the First Degree F1

Josiah Sher (26 YO): No Bond

18-3-102 (3): Murder in the First Degree F1

Matthew Plake (26 YO): No Bond

18-3-102 (3): Murder in the First Degree F1

Micah Woody (29 YO): No Bond

18-3-102 (3): Murder in the First Degree F1

The other suspects' association to the victims is not being released at this time.

Mug Shots are not available because photo lineups are still being conducted.

The crime scene is still being investigated by our Detectives and Crime Lab and they will probably be there throughout Tuesday.

This is still an open and active investigation and no additional information is being released at this time.

All records and affidavits related to this case have been sealed and are not releasable.

We would still ask the public that if you have any additional information related to this case to please call the Douglas County Sheriff's Office tip line at 303-660-7579

More information may be released later as further developments are made in this case to include a possible press conference later in the week.

Update, 7:04 a.m. February 25: We now know the names of the two people slain in a home on Marlin Way in Keene Ranch: Amara Wells, 39 (seen here), and her brother in law, Robert Rafferty, whose photo is below. Another odd piece of information: Wells's ex-husband, Christopher Wells, was arrested for violating a restraining order on Tuesday of this week. The bodies of his former spouse and Rafferty were found early Wednesday.

Late yesterday afternoon, members of the press were asked by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office not to reveal the cause of death determined by the Douglas County Coroner's Office -- info that was included in a release that named the victims.

Since then, however, news outlets such as the Denver Post have confirmed that the pair were stabbed to death.

Christopher Wells's presence in jail certainly suggests that he couldn't have committed the slayings himself, but no one's been ordered out from underneath the proverbial umbrella of suspicion.

Page down to check out our earlier coverage of this tragic and mysterious case.

Update, 6:11 p.m. February 23: What originally looked like a murder-suicide at a home on the 2400 block of Marlin Way in Keene Ranch may in fact be something quite different. Despite earlier reports that no third party was being sought, a Douglas County Sheriff's Office release now states that the case is being investigated as a double homicide -- albeit one in which no suspect information is currently being made available.

Here's the aforementioned release, followed by our earlier coverage:

Douglas County Sheriff's Office is Conducting a Death Investigation S. of Castle Rock

On 02/23/2011 at about 3:00 a.m., Douglas County Deputies responded to the 2400 block of Marlin Way in reference to a welfare check.

Douglas County Regional Dispatch center received a 911 call at approximately 3:00 a.m. Deputies arrived on scene and found two adult parties deceased in the residence.

Deputies set up a perimeter and Douglas County Sheriff's Office Detectives were called to the scene along with our crime lab.

At this time, crime scene investigators are processing the crime scene. When they are finished the Douglas County Coroner's Office will take possession of the bodies and will work to determine positive identification as well as cause of death.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is investigating this as a double homicide and this is an open and active investigation.

No suspect information is available at this time and we do not have a suspect in custody.

If you have any additional information please call 303-660-7579

More information may be released later as it becomes available.

Original item, 11:48 a.m.: When two bodies are found and authorities say they're not seeking other suspects, the deadly math typically equates to a murder-suicide scenario. But that's only speculation at this point in the investigation on the 2400 block of Marlin Way in Keene Ranch.

Thus far, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office hasn't released names or more than the barest details.

Sergeant Ron Hanavan, spokesman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, says personnel are not at a point where they feel comfortable revealing what he refers to as "the relationship of the individuals to the house." However, he does confirm that a "multiple homicide investigation" is underway. It's an active and ongoing investigation, and we're conducting interviews as well as completing follow-through with any and all leads." He encourages anyone with additional information to contact the sheriff's office at 303-660-7500.

Below, find an earlier report from 9News, offered at a time when DougCo officials were still only confirming that a death investigation had gotten underway following a welfare check after 3 a.m. this morning. That's followed by an interactive graphic showing the area near the scene; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Art Medina drowned Maria Duron, then hanged himself in murder-suicide, coroner reports (49)."


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