WOBURN — “The perfect storm” of events is how prosecutor Adrienne Lynch described the 2006 murder-for-hire plot that left Edward Schiller dead with a bullet to the head and Scott Foxworth, the hired hit man, in prison for life.
Foxworth, 55, of Dracut, was released from prison in July 2005, about the same time that a jealous James Brescia, a Raytheon manager, was served with divorce papers from Stacy Rock, his estranged wife. Rock began seeing Schiller, her former high-school boyfriend.
Brescia blamed Schiller for his inability to reconcile with Rock and told Nancy Campbell, a Raytheon co-worker and Foxworth’s former girlfriend, that he wanted Schiller out of the picture.
Brescia then hooked up with Foxworth, who has a 1998 federal conviction for second-degree murder, for which he served four years in prison. Foxworth was released from prison six months before the Schiller murder after serving another three years for illegal possession of a firearm. Brescia offered the part-time Dracut bartender a $10,000 payday he didn’t refuse.
After a three-week trial and seven hours of deliberations, a Middlesex Superior Court jury yesterday convicted the 55-year-old Foxworth of first-degree murder and conspiracy in connection with the shooting death on Jan. 13, 2006, of Schiller, a 39-year-old insurance agent, as he sat in his car inside a Newton parking garage.
Judge Leila Kern sentenced Foxworth to the mandatory life sentence.
Stopping short of an apology, Foxworth told the family of the man he executed in a murder-for-hire scheme that he hopes they can begin to heal, said his attorney, John LaChance.
But after the verdict, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone said, “Scott Foxworth didn’t know Ed Schiller and showed a total disregard for the value of life, killing him for nothing other than money.”
Lynch argued that Schiller was “executed” because James Brescia was a jealous jilted husband.
Brescia, 48, of Waltham, hired Foxworth to put a bullet in Schiller’s head as he sat in his car in the parking garage outside the Aronson Insurance Agency in Newton.
Last year, Brescia was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy. He is currently serving a life sentence without parole.
In a previous victim-impact statement, Carl Schiller, Edward’s only sibling, said the bullet that killed his brother cut short a life that was full of passion.
From playing softball without any socks or shoes — earning the nickname “Shoeless Schiller” — to riding his motorcycle, Edward Schiller was not only Carl’s older brother, he was his “compass,” the younger Schiller said.
The murder-for-hire plot began to unravel hours after Schiller’s murder. Over the next three months, investigators used Web searches, bank receipts and phone records to assemble a paper trail among Brescia, Foxworth and the link between the two men, Dracut resident Campbell, Brescia’s co-worker at Raytheon and Foxworth’s former girlfriend.
Phone records indicate that in the months before the murder, Brescia called Foxworth’s cell phone 60 times, Lynch said. The calls were primarily made from pay phones using a prepaid calling card, which police eventually discovered by searching through Brescia’s trash.
After the murder, the calls ceased.
Under a grant of immunity, Campbell testified at the murder trials of both Brescia and Foxworth about the murder plot.
Charles Merkle, Brescia’s friend who held the hit man’s cash, and Scott Hickey, Foxworth’s former cell mate after his arrest for the murder, testified against Foxworth.
In his closing argument, LaChance told the jury there was no hard evidence, such as DNA or fingerprints, that linked Foxworth to the murder.
He noted that the prosecution’s case rose or fell on the credibility of Hickey, Merkle and Campbell, all of whom bargained to receive either immunity or consideration in a future criminal case.