Judge orders Raleigh man accused in murder-for-hire plot to be jailed until trial

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Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Russian man accused in murder-for-hire plot denied release from jail
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Russian man accused in murder-for-hire plot denied release from jail

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Attorneys for a Russian man accused of trying to kill his wife's lover tried to get their client out of jail, according to new court documents filled with powerful details and impassioned arguments on both sides.

Prosecutors argued that shouldn't happen and Tuesday, a judge agreed, ordering Leonid Teyf to stay behind bars until trial, which is set for spring.

Teyf, a wealthy Raleigh resident, is facing a number of federal charges.

Teyf, 57, was indicted in November on dozens of federal counts, including a kickback scheme and murder plot.

Court documents detail a plan to have the man his wife, Tatyana, was "having an affair with" deported to Russia and murdered.

In December, the FBI raided the Teyfs sprawling North Raleigh home.

In a new motion, Teyf's attorneys argued that Teyf is not a flight risk, that he is not a threat to the community and that staying in jail is having a "negative impact" on his health.

Federal prosecutors noted in opposing that filing, that "the defendant boldly asserts that an individual would have to be suffering from a 'mental disease' or 'defect' to continue to engage in criminal conduct once their criminal scheme has been exposed."

Prosecutors countered that by saying "if this were the case, no individual charged would ever need to be detained as a danger to the community. Sadly, just the opposite is true."

The document also showed that FBI Special Agent Kinney testified that Teyf planned to pin the blame for the lover's murder on his own wife, Tatyana, should the hitman "be caught and questioned."

The prosecutors also spell out in alarming detail how Teyf allegedly spoke numerous times to a potential federal witness of the anguish he felt at the thoughts of his wife's lover and proclaimed in profanity-laced tirade of how he would "shoot him in his knee so he would (expletive) tell me everything, then I'll (expletive) whack him. ... I would just strangle him any second with one hand."

Teyf faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of bribery, firearm and murder-for-hire charges. Several others including his wife have also been charged by U.S. authorities.

District Judge Louise Wood Flanagan has proposed an April trial date for Teyf.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.