Widow and killer-for-hire get life sentences for murdering husband
A woman who had her husband killed to collect health insurance money and the hired shooter got life sentences on Thursday as a full courtroom of the victim’s family sobbed and cheered from the audience.
On Feb. 24, 2013, Omar Murray, 37, was sent to the grocery store by his wife Alisha Noel. When he returned, gunman Kirk Portious was waiting for him and shot him dead inside the doorway of Murray’s Brownsville home while Noel and their child waited upstairs.
Four years later, Murray’s family broke out in applause when Judge Neil Firetog threw a life sentence at Murray’s ex-wife Noel, who stood stone-faced in Brooklyn Supreme Court.
“This was the person that was my sister,” Murray’s brother Andrew said about Noel in court. “I thought she loved my brother … my brother deserved more than this.”
Noel was convicted in a jury trial on June 8, 2017 to first-degree murder for plotting to kill her husband to collect nearly $900,000 in life insurance.
Noel took out the money before the murder and tried to cash out the policies days after her husband’s death, according to court documents. She paid Portious $3,500 for the murder.
Noel attempted to kill Murray twice prior to the third successful attempt. Noel’s lover Dameon Lovell attempted to kill Murray on Feb. 6, 2013, but missed his attempted shot. Noel had also previously attempted to poison Murray.
The victim’s family had no reservations to tell the plotter how they felt, as Murray’s cousin read a statement written by Murray’s mother.
“Alisha, you should spend 900,000 years in jail,” the statement read.
Noel’s lawyer Wynton Sharpe argued passionately that Noel did not order the murder.
“She had nothing to do with the death,” Sharpe said. “She’s heart-wrenched for Omar’s family.”
But Assistant District Attorney Emily Dean said Noel had a “determination to murder her husband.”
Portious’ lawyer Damien Brown argued that the straight-faced Portious felt remorse for Murray’s family and did not deserve life in prison.
“My client is a father, so he feels the pain that this family does,” Brown said.
Portious was convicted on a separate jury trial on June 14, 2017.
Lovell pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was promised a 15-year sentence in prison, according to a press release issued by the District Attorney’s Office.
Family members hugged each other and cried outside of the courtroom, flooding the halls with their emotions.
Murray’s mother’s letter to the court stressed that the family remains strong despite the tragedy: “Alisha, you have not broken us.”