Army sergeant, his brother charged in failed murder-for-hire plot

Army sergeant, his brother charged in failed murder-for-hire plot
Army sergeant, his brother charged in failed murder-for-hire plot

U.S. News

By Patrick Reilly

Published
May 3, 2024, 8:50 pm ET

A US Army sergeant and his brother have been arrested in a failed murder-for-hire plot to kill four people, including two children, that was orchestrated behind bars at a Connecticut jail, according to authorities.

Jeremiah Peikert, a 30-year-old service member, was busted Thursday in connection to the scheme allegedly concocted in 2022 by his brother, 32-year-old Joshua Peikert, while he was serving time at Corrigan Correctional Center in Uncasville, according to Connecticut State Police.

Joshua allegedly paid his cellmate a finder’s fee to hire a man to murder a 29-year-old woman, her 10-year-old and 1-year-old daughters, and her 23-year-old boyfriend.

US Army Sergeant Jeremiah Peikert was arrested for his role in the murder-for-hire plot. Connecticut State Police
Joshua Peikert allegedly tried to have four people, including two children, killed while locked up in Connecticut prison. Connecticut State Police

The cellmate, who is not named in documents, told investigators that after a short time in jail with Joshua, the suspect said he wanted the four people killed, according to an arrest warrant.

The inmate said he knew some people on the outside that would do the deed for $10,000 a head.

Joshua said he would pay half up front, half when the job is done, the arrest warrant said. He then provided the names and addresses of the four people as well as the location of a hidden spare key at their home.

The cellmate told Joshua he had to pay him a $500 finders fee — $250 upfront, and $250 when they were dead. He was given the $250 through Jeremiah, according to the arrest warrant.

Joshua was later danced out and spoke to his former cellmate about the “construction job” and “materials” — which were code words for the murder, according to the arrest warrant. But he was back in the slammer just two weeks later, and asked why they hadn’t been killed.

Joshua Peikert was jailed at the Corrigan Correctional Center when he arranged to have four people murdered.

The cellmate then sent a handwritten letter to the 29-year-old woman explaining the murder-for-hire plot scheme, prompting a police investigation. He also told police he learned Josh had put out a hit on him.

“At no time did I have any intention of hiring a hitman or committing any violence,” the cellmate testified, and he never contacted anyone to carry out the killings, according to the arrest warrant.

Investigators discovered that Joshua called his brother Jeremiah for money to get the “construction job” done, police said.

They also found numerous conversations with Joshua and Jeremiah alluding to the crime, as well as Jeremiah and the former cellmate.

Connecticut State police traveled to Texas in December 2023 to meet Jeremiah. In an interview with authorities, Jeremiah allegedly admitted that he transferred money to an inmate’s account at his brother’s request.

He told police he did not know the specifics of the plan, but knew that the money was sent to arrange having the 29-year-old woman hurt, the arrest warrant said.

“I did not believe the kids were planned to be involved in this scheme,” he said, according to the arrest document.

Jeremiah claimed he was reluctant to send the money, and only did so under pressure from his brother and the cellmate, who had promised that the job would be finished in two weeks.

Josh, Jeremiah told police, has “violent tendencies” that he has witnessed from a young age and could be “manipulative.”

Jeremiah was extradited to Connecticut and was charged with conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit risk of injury to minors. He is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Joshua is facing the same charges and being held at the Connecticut Department of Correction.

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