Cumberland Times-News

November 10, 2011

Two arrested in alleged murder plot

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

— KEYSER, W.Va. — A Cumberland man was arrested Thursday on charges that he plotted to kill a Keyser man. The victim’s wife was arrested about three weeks ago, although police did not make that arrest known at that time.

Robert Edward Tappia, 42, was charged with attempt to commit murder and conspiracy to murder when he was arrested in a traffic stop at about 7:30 a.m. on Fort Avenue in Keyser by the Keyser Police Department. The arrest was made without incident.

Following an appearance before a Mineral County magistrate, Tappia was jailed Thursday in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail in Augusta on bond of $102,550.

Keyser Police also disclosed the arrest late Thursday morning of 27-year-old Katrina Jeanette Ellifritz of Keyser, who was jailed Oct. 23 on a charge of conspiracy to commit murder. Warrants were obtained that day by Keyser Police for the arrest of Tappia, who remained at large until he was apprehended Thursday.

Ellifritz remained incarcerated Thursday at the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail on $125,000 bond.

Police said investigation determined that Tappia was involved in a relationship with Ellifritz and that they allegedly had conspired to kill her husband.

The alleged conspiracy came to light after Keyser Police investigated a report of shots fired in the first block of Virginia Street on Oct. 23.

Officers located the male victim, who stated that Tappia, an acquaintance of his, had tried to kill him. Investigation determined that no shots were fired but the suspect had allegedly displayed a handgun and stated that he was going to kill the victim. The suspect then ran from the area as the victim began yelling for help, police said.

Keyser Police said the investigation is continuing.