A third man was arrested June 6, 2015, in connection with a murder plot to kill another man for $500.
Danny Ray Armstrong, of Russellville, was taken into custody by the Russellville Police Department after a warrant for his arrest was granted. Ray joins Randall Young, also of Russellville, as the men who were allegedly solicited by John Joseph O’Brien, of Russellville, to kill James Hurt.
Detective Samantha Reeser, of the Russellville Police Department, heard both O’Brien and Young refer to the name “Danny” during an interviewing process. The detective put two and two together and eventually discovered the third suspect in the case to be Armstrong.
Hurt had apparently assaulted O’Brien on Feb. 26, 2015, and the plot was allegedly to retaliate for that assault. A witness had told police that O’Brien harbored an enormous amount of anger towards Hurt for the assault, and had previously mentioned killing him with a lead pipe and brass knuckles, similar to the manner in which Hurt injured him.
The witness in the case was present when O’Brien allegedly told the two men, “I will give you $500 both is you help me kill Jim Hurt.” According to the witness, when he presented his offer, the two men agreed and all three traveled to Homer Road in order to see where Hurt lived.
An audio recording provided to investigating officers portrays O’Brien speaking with the witness about his plans.
Witness states, “I don’t want to have anything to do with killing (Hurt).”
O’Brien replies, “Then get the (expletive) out.”
Witness is heard asking O’Brien, “And you want to kill someone for what?”
O’Brien responds, “Because he broke my (expletive) eyeball out… that’s why.”
O’Brien is later heard saying, “I’m going to kill him before I leave… I’m going to kill him. He just don’t know what day and what time and what I’m going to do.”
The witness said that O’Brien is referring to killing Hurt before he leaves for vacation on June 1, 2015.
O’Brien is being charged with murder solicitation. Both Young and Armstrong are being charged with murder conspiracy.