Las Vegas Sun

December 20, 2014

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Fourth suspect arrested in case of highway murder plot

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Smith, 20, was arrested Thursday in connection with a plot to kill Robert Bessey, 49, for an estimated $400,000 in life insurance and other benefits, Metro Police said.

Another suspect was nabbed Thursday in connection with a failed scheme to kill a man for his life insurance money and pension.

Courtney Smith was taken into custody by authorities who allege she tried to poison Robert Bessey last June at the behest of his wife, Amy Bessey, a Friday Metro Police report said.

The 20-year-old Las Vegas resident had been dating Robert Bessey’s stepson, Michael Bessey, and police believe Amy Bessey offered Smith $50,000 to poison him with an arsenic-laced Red Bull.

She was booked into Clark County Detention Center on several charges, including attempting to kill by poison, and conspiracy to commit murder, the report said. Smith’s arrest makes her the fourth suspect in the investigation.

Robert Bessey, 49, had been in the midst of a divorce with Amy Bessey, 32, and police said his wife would collect as much as $400,000 in life insurance and other benefits if he died before the divorce was finalized.

Amy Pearson, aka Amy Bessey

Amy Pearson, aka Amy Bessey

Once Smith’s attempt to poison Robert Bessey failed, police said Michael Bessey and Amy Bessey’s brother, Richard Pearson, attempted to kill him in November.

On Nov. 14 at 4:35 a.m. as Robert Bessey was driving south on Interstate 15 near Valley of Fire, he was shot in the neck.

A gold SUV pulled up to his rear driver’s side window and a shot was fired, striking Robert Bessey in the back of the neck, police said.

Police said that Michael Bessey and Richard Pearson were caught on a gas station surveillance camera earlier that morning.

Michael Bessey was arrested on Nov. 15 in connection with the shooting, and Richard Pearson was arrested on Dec. 12.

In Smith’s interview with police, she said that Robert Bessey had a history of abusing Michael and Amy Bessey.

Meanwhile, Robert Bessey said his wife and Michael Bessey also shared an “unnatural relationship,” and cited a letter Michael Bessey had written to her from the detention center that included the line “I miss touching you.”

Michael Bessey’s former boss, a security guard at Treasure Island’s country-western nightclub, said he had witnessed Amy Bessey and Michael Bessey being “overaffectionate,” and touching each other intimately.

Robert Bessey said Amy Bessey had called him Jan. 4 begging him to drop the charges, but he refused. Amy Bessey then turned herself in to police later that day.

Michael Bessey, Richard Pearson and Amy Bessey are all charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit murder and battery with a deadly weapon resulting in substantial bodily harm, police said. Richard Pearson was also charged with violation of parole.

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