Justin Bieber murder plot: New details, audio released
New details and audio involving what authorities say is a grisly 2012 murder plot that targeted Justin Bieber have emerged.
Dana Martin, a 45-year-old man serving time in a New Mexico prison, is accused of planning to castrate and kill the teen pop star, with the help of former inmate Mark Staake and his nephew, Tanner Ruane. The latter two had traveled to Vermont on November 14 with the intention of later reaching New York, in order to carry out the plot, which also involved Bieber's bodyguard and two other unnamed people, police said in December.
Audio from phone calls Martin made to his suspected accomplices has since been released and made public. Parts were posted by Albuquerque-based ABC affiliate KOAT Television. Police say the recordings contain their conversations about killing Bieber.
"Did he go over the Bieber thing with you?" Martin asks Ruane, 23.
"Nuh-uh. Nah, the way I work, dude, the way I work is that I like to know as little as possible," Ruane replies, according to police. "He's gonna use one of the things you gave him, and then he's gonna take care of it. We went and bought the [expletive] hedge clippers. You're gonna give me 5 large ($5,000) for each one I get."
Police told KOAT that Ruane and Staake, 41, planned to use the clippers to castrate Bieber and his bodyguard, then suffocate them with a paisley scarf.
The pair intended to catch Bieber in between his November 28 and November 29 Madison Square concerts, but the plot was foiled when they took a wrong exit and were stopped on the Canadian border. Bieber is originally from Canada and lives in the United States.
Staake was arrested on an outstanding warrant, while Ruane was released, CNN had reported in December. He was later taken into custody after police discovered he had phoned Martin in prison to discuss the reported murder plot.
Ruane and his uncle are currently in a jail in New Mexico. The two and Martin are facing charges of conspiracy to commit murder, court records show. Martin and Staake have pleaded not guilty.
Martin is currently serving a 978-year jail sentence for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in 2000 and was in April transferred from a Florida prison to the Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility, where he met Staake. Police believe the man, who has an image of Bieber tattooed on his leg, became obsessed with the singer, who was his "ultimate target."
"When asked to explain why Victim 3 was to be killed, Mr. Martin stated that Victim 3 has a measure of fame and that he (Mr. Martin) had become infatuated with Victim 3," an investigator wrote in the affidavit, according to the Los Angeles Times. "This infatuation was exemplified by the tattooing of an image of Victim 3 on Mr. Martin's leg. Mr. Martin stated that he had attempted to solicit correspondence on numerous occasions between Victim 3 and him and Victim 3 never returned in kind."
Bieber's manager Scooter Braun issued a statement regarding the murder plot in December, telling Us Weekly: "We take every precaution to protect and insure the safety of Justin and his fans."
(Pictured above: Justin Bieber appears in a photo from the Billboard Music Awards on May 20, 2012. Credit: ABC. / Bottom, from L-R: Dana Martin appears in a booking photo released by the Leon County Sheriff's Office in Florida in 2006./ Mark Staake appears in a booking photo released by Vermont State Police in 2012.)