A man was jailed for life on Wednesday for plotting to rob and kill British pop star Joss Stone with an accomplice and dump her body in a river.
Kevin Liverpool, 35, and his co-accused Junior Bradshaw, 32 — who will be sentenced at a later date — were arrested in June 2011 a few miles (kilometres) from Stone’s rural home in the county of Devon, southwest England.
An array of weapons — including a samurai sword, hammers and a metal spike — were found in their battered car after they were arrested.
Residents near Stone’s home had alerted police after the pair stopped to ask directions.
Liverpool was told by a judge at Exeter Crown Court in Devon that he would have to serve at least 10 years and eight months in prison before he could be considered for parole.
The two men were convicted by a jury of conspiracy to murder and conspiracy to rob after just four hours of deliberations following a three-week trial.
Judge Francis Gilbert told Liverpool: “It was your scheme.
“This may have been the crazy scheme of a crazy person… but it was a very real plan.
“You intended to rob her and kill her and dump her body in the river, according to your words, and then leave the country with your accomplice Junior Bradshaw.”
Notes found in the defendants’ possession showed they intended to decapitate the pop star before dumping her body in a river, the jury was told.
Stone, 25, was at home at the time but she said in evidence during the trial that she was only aware of the incident when police contacted her later that day.
She described the house, accessed by narrow country lanes, as an “open house” for family, friends and her then boyfriend.
The star admitted that before the plot she had lax security and rarely locked her front door, adding: “But I do now.”
The hapless pair of would-be attackers encountered a range of problems during the 240-mile (390-kilometre) journey from their home in Manchester, northwest England, to the village where Stone lived.
They were stopped by police after being involved in a crash on the way, but were allowed to continue their journey in their damaged car.
The jury heard Bradshaw and Liverpool also asked a postman for directions to Stone’s home by showing him a photograph of the singer, who burst onto the international music scene in 2003 with her platinum-selling debut album “The Soul Sessions”.
The men were eventually arrested after they stopped again to ask local residents how to find Stone’s home.
Devin Nunes likely under federal investigation over foreign contacts after Parnas phone call revelation: ex-FBI official
On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi speculated that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) may already be under FBI investigation for his secret calls with indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.
"What do you make of the fact that the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, who participated in the Adam Schiff portion of the impeachment hearings, never said anything to anybody about the fact that he was not just the guy who's sitting on the dais, he was involved in some way with one of the players?" asked host Joy Reid.
"Well, it says a lot on two levels," said Figliuzzi. "It says a lot about Devin Nunes as an individual, his ethics, his integrity, and what he's all about. And then on a larger level, it's just a huge, ironic development that we're hearing all of this about — the Republicans are defending allegations that the president lacks integrity and ethics, and they're sitting there overseeing this and they're not recusing themselves, and they're not saying anything about their colleague, Devin Nunes. So, you know, the hypocrisy is loud and clear here. And eventually when the dust clears, Joy, I wouldn't be surprised if ethics investigations and perhaps even criminal investigations really point the finger at Nunes as someone who should have recused himself and is much deeper into this than we know now."
Trump hammered by ex-intel officials for sucking up to the Saudis after Florida naval base shooting
President Donald Trump is taking heat from former U.S. intelligence officials for taking a very soft tone with the Saudi government after Friday’s shooting at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida.
Not long after the shooter was identified as a second lieutenant in the Saudi Arabian military, the president tweeted out words of sympathy from the Saudi king after a phonecall, writing, "The King said that the Saudi people are greatly angered by the barbaric actions of the shooter, and that this person in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people who love the American people."
Former right-wing presidential candidate scamming Americans with toxic bleach cure for cancer
Former diplomat and Reagan adviser Alan Keyes is a well-known gadfly who has run multiple times for president and for Senate, most famously against future President Barack Obama in 2004.
But lately, according to The Daily Beast, he has been involved in a different pursuit: the promotion of a dangerous pseudoscience scam known as the "Miracle Mineral Solution," or MMS.
The substance, which is actually just the powerful bleach chlorine dioxide, is supposedly a cure for everything from viral infections to infertility, and there was even a cultlike church known as the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, that promoted it as a gift from God. MMS has particularly taken root in developing countries like Uganda, but it also has a following in the United States, and many autistic children have been forced to drink it. Versions of this scam have even been promoted on Amazon.