Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office Hope Nettleton, at left, and Brittany Cormier
An apparent murder-for-hire plot has left two women dead, although a Louisiana sheriff says neither of the two innocent victims was the actual intended target of a man who wanted to silence his accuser in an alleged rape.
Killed in the Jan. 13 shooting at a residence in Montegut were 34-year-old Brittany Cormier and 37-year-old Hope Nettleton, a neighbor who was visiting Cormier at the time that one of the accused killers knocked on Cormier's door, Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Tim Soignet said at a news conference Monday.
The alleged rape victim was unharmed.
Brittany Cormeiur died after standing up to the alleged shooter and posing as the victim, "accepting her fate to save the life of an actual victim," the sheriff told reporters.
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In a separate news release, Soignet alleges that Cormier's brother -- Beaux Cormier, 35, who previously had been arrested and charged with third-degree rape in another parish -- solicited and paid two friends, Dalvin Wilson, 22, and Andrew Eskine, 25, to kill his alleged rape victim.
The three men traveled to Montegut "to do surveillance on the residence prior to the homicide and had actually attempted to carry out the homicide on a prior occasion but were unsuccessful," according to the sheriff's office.
Terrebonne Parish Sheriff's Office From left: Beaux Cormier, Andrew Erskin and Dalvin Wilson
On the day the two women were killed, Wilson knocked on the residence door and asked for the alleged rape victim by name, the sheriff said.
Brittany Cormier "was murdered as a result of telling the shooter she was in fact the rape victim, likely saving the life of the actual rape victim," according to the sheriff. Nettleton was fatally shot while attempting to fight the alleged gunman, he said.
"They were good people that ended up dying as a result," Soignet said at the news conference. "This really hit that community hard."
Although he was working out of town on the day of the shootings, Eskine "facilitated the vehicle and plan to carry out the murders," the sheriff's office said in its news release.
Eskine, Wilson and Beaux Cormier all are now charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of the women. Police said Eskine and Wilson allegedly confessed.
Online jail records show that each is in custody in Terrebonne Parish, but do not list attorneys who might speak on their behalf. Each is being held on a $2 million bond, said Terrabonne Parish District Attorney Joseph Waitz, reports CNN.
"These are very very dangerous people, I do not want them on the streets," he said.