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Craig Titus & Kelly Ryan Investigation » Blog Archive » MURDER-FOR-HIRE ALLEGATIONS: Contradictions revealed

MURDER-FOR-HIRE ALLEGATIONS: Contradictions revealed

Glenn brings up the latest story on the murder-for-hire plot via the Las Vegas Review Journal (which has a new look to it if you haven’t visited lately)

Questions remain over whether Titus knew of alleged plot

The man accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill three witnesses in the Craig Titus murder case gave contradictory information to police about whether Titus had knowledge of the alleged scheme.

Clark County prosecutor Robert Daskas has said in a court hearing that authorities believe Titus, a nationally known bodybuilder, was involved in the plot, but Titus and his lawyer have scoffed at the accusation and point to the fact that he has not been charged in connection with it.

In a taped statement to police, Nelson Brady Jr. told detectives he’d had general conversations with Titus about witnesses in the murder case. Brady said that Titus talked to him about the witnesses’ alleged involvement in drugs, but that Titus didn’t express any interest in having anyone killed.

“He (Titus) talked about (the witnesses’) illegal activities,” Brady said. “I told him anything I could do … I would do for him. And he came to the idea of contacting narcotics (detectives) and having narcotics get involved and watch what they (the witnesses) were doing, moving the cocaine they were moving.”

When asked whether Titus had knowledge of an alleged plot to kill witnesses, Brady said that “he never approached me with that idea … not murdered, no. Just to make sure they didn’t show up maybe. I think I was able to relay that across to him. But he was real closed-mouthed about our conversations on the phone.”

Yet when pressed repeatedly by detectives about what Titus understood about the alleged plot, Brady seemed to offer contradictory information.

“You don’t think he understood what you were trying to convey?” Detective Dean O’Kelley asked.

“He had to have understood it,” Brady replied, referring to the murder-for-hire plot.

Titus is a former Mr. Olympia competitor and his wife, Kelly Ryan, is a national fitness champion. The two are charged with killing their 28-year-old personal assistant, Melissa James, in December 2005 and burning her body in the trunk of Ryan’s Jaguar in the desert off state Route 160.

Titus and Ryan have pleaded innocent to the charges.

Months after their arrest, police received information from a jailhouse informant, Deen Cassim, alleging that Brady had approached him in Clark County Detention Center about a plot to kill witnesses on behalf of Titus.

Cassim worked as an informant for police, and Brady was eventually arrested after authorities alleged he gave money to an undercover officer posing as a go-between for a hit man to kill the witnesses. Brady has pleaded innocent.

But court records and taped phone calls gathered by police indicate that the allegations against Brady are not as straightforward as they were initially portrayed.

At least one phone call recorded by police between Brady and Cassim indicates Cassim was strong-arming Brady to force his participation in the plot. Brady failed to show at three separate meetings with the undercover detective to give him the money for the hits.

In his taped statement, Brady said he had great reservations about any murder-for-hire plot.

“What really struck it up is … Deen is the one who manipulated this idea,” Brady said. “I guarantee you, that’s when this idea came up. And, Deen got it all prearranged and organized everything.”

Brady’s attorney, Erick Ferran, has said Brady legitimately believed he was in danger if he didn’t carry out the plot. Brady talked about his reluctance, saying he didn’t want to be involved.

“I would never come up with this idea on my own. … It’s not in my heart to do something like that,” Brady said.

Brady indicated he eventually met with the undercover detective and paid only a fraction of the amount he and Cassim had originally agreed to for the plan to be carried out.

“I just put in a small amount just to see if he would take it or leave it kind of situation,” Brady said. “And he grabbed onto it anyways.”

He added, “I’m glad that nobody has been hurt.”

Ferran and Daskas both declined to comment for this report.

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