Thursday, January 31, 2013


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New England man pleads guilty in Westchester murder

WHITE PLAINS – A Hill, New Hampshire man pled guilty in Westchester County Court on Wednesday to two counts of murder and one count of kidnapping in connection with the death of a Florida man whose decomposed body was found in woods in the Town of North Salem in June 2011.

The victim, Epifanio Medina, 65, had been living in Passaic, New Jersey. His body was found by two horseback riders. Medina was known to carry large amounts of cash and wore a lot of flashy jewelry.

Charles Blanchard, 22, faces up to 25 years to life in state prison when sentenced in March.

Blanchard was charged with acting with three accomplices – Jessica Ryan French, 25, of Leigh Acres, Florida; Travis Morin, 25, of Danbury, New Hampshire; and Patrick Smith, 25, of Lehigh Acres, Florida.

New York State Police expanded their investigation to Florida and New Hampshire and arrested the four. Blanchard is French’s half-brother and Smith was French’s boyfriend at the time of the murder and father of her child.

French pled guilty last May and Morin and Smith are awaiting trial.