(LAS VEGAS) — Prosecutors in Las Vegas are seeking an indictment against a Las Vegas City firefighter and West Point graduate who they say paid a homeless man to beat his wife to death in her home in late September.
When police found Shauna Tiaffay, a Las Vegas cocktail waitress and mother, brutally murdered in her own home on Sept. 29, it seemed like a random crime. But today, prosecutors are saying her husband, George Tiaffay, was the mastermind behind the gruesome attack. They have accused George Tiaffay of offering Noel Stevens, a homeless man, $20,000 to beat his bride to death.
“I felt that the minute I heard that the way that she had died, that he [George Tiaffay] had something to do with it,” Shauna Tiaffay’s friend, Claudia Carrillo, told ABC News.
Carrillo and Stephanie Vargas, two of Shauna’s best friends, are now breaking their silence, saying that they believe George Tiaffay was a verbally abusive husband.
“He was known for being controlling with her and I think this is a case of him trying to control her,” Carrillo said.
Vargas agrees that George Tiaffay was very possessive of Shauna.
“[He was] one of those — if I can’t have her, nobody else can,” Vargas said.
Police say the evidence speaks for itself, and that the details of the alleged murder plot read like a crime novel.
Investigators say George Tiaffay was in constant contact with Stevens, calling him 86 times in September. The two even exchanged phone calls in the moments before police believe Shauna was murdered.
Police also say they obtained surveillance video of the two men walking out of a hardware store together after purchasing a hammer, gloves and knife.
On Monday, Stevens’ attorney refused to comment. But George Tiaffay’s lawyer issued a statement on behalf of his family.
“George did not commit the crimes he is charged with,” he said in the statement. “While all marriages have their ups and downs, George and Shauna were both committed to each other, and especially their daughter.”
But Shauna’s friends are still not convinced that George had nothing to with her death.
“To become a fireman and help people, how is it that you want to save lives but you take a life?” Carrillo said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio