Alleged Contract Shooting Victim Dies
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ A man left paralyzed by a pistol ambush last month has died, and authorities prepared to seek extradition from Hawaii of a wealthy businessman accused of paying $10,000 to have his former brother-in-law killed, officials said.
Robert Pfeil, a 55-year-old airline pilot who was shot while driving, died of his wounds Monday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., officials there said. He had been taken to Minnesota as a security precaution.
Former Anchorage attorney and businessman Neil MacKay was being held today in a Honolulu jail in lieu of $25 million cash bail on a charge of first- degree murder, said Assistant District Attorney Steve Branchflower.
″I know he’s a wealthy person,″ Branchflower said. ″I don’t know the extent of his wealth. For the time being, I’m hoping $25 million will do the job.″
Under an agreement with Alaska, Hawaiian authorities will pursue MacKay’s extradition if he refuses to waive it.
MacKay, 62, was arrested at his Waikiki condominium Saturday on an attempted-murder charge. Four other men have been arrested in the case.
Pfeil’s sister, Muriel, died in a car bombing in 1976, one year after she and MacKay divorced. The bombing was never solved, and Pfeil spent years trying to find the killer.
Pfeil was shot three times Oct. 12 when he stopped his car at an intersection near his Anchorage home. One bullet paralyzed him from the waist down.
According to court documents filed to obtain an arrest warrant for MacKay, police have tape recordings of him allegedly talking about his role in the ambush.
The shooting was sparked by a history of animosity between the two men, the documents alleged. Pfeil was executor of his sister’s estate, and he and MacKay had been involved in long, bitter fights that included a custody battle over MacKay’s son that MacKay won.
Anchorage police on Friday arrested Gilbert Pauole, a 38-year-old nightclub operator, and John Bright, 21, on charge of attempted first-degree murder. The charge against Bright, who police allege shot Pfeil with a .45-caliber handgun, will be changed to first-degree murder, Branchflower said.
Branchflower refused to comment when asked about the charge against Pauole, who, court documents alleged, was paid $10,000 to have Pfeil killed.
A man accused of driving the car used in the killing, Ray Gentry, was arrested in Anchorage on Monday and charged with first-degree murder. Police also arrested Robert Betts, 19, and charged him with first-degree murder but did not elaborate on his alleged connection to the case.
All four men were being held at the Cook Inlet Pre-Trial Facility in lieu of $5 million cash bail each.
Pauole allegedly paid Bright $7,500 and $1,000 to the driver, the court papers said.
Pauole was the manager of the Wild Cherry club in Anchorage until it lost its liquor license last year because of alleged gangland connections.