Sailor Says Murder-for-Hire Was Planned

CHESAPEAKE -- A sailor charged in the stabbing death of a 26-year-old mother of two confessed to the killing and said he and her husband had planned the murder-for-hire, according to newly filed search warrants.

Marcus Hofferber, 26 and a Rowlett, Texas, native, was living in Virginia Beach when he was charged with murder, armed burglary and conspiracy in the Jan. 19 slaying of Rachel Abshire.

He told a detective he drove his red Dodge pickup with Texas plates to her Great Bridge apartment and later disposed of evidence.

Abshire's estranged husband, Cory Abshire -- a 27-year-old Jupiter, Fla., native who was living in Norfolk -- also is charged with murder, armed burglary and conspiracy.

On Jan. 20, Rachel Abshire's stepfather went to the KingsBridge apartment complex off Johnstown Road to check on her after not hearing from her all weekend, according to court documents.

When he arrived, the door to her apartment was unlocked, and she was lying by the entrance with several stab wounds.

Police have said her two young sons were with their grandparents when their mother was killed.

Hofferber and Cory Abshire -- both petty officers second class who worked as fire controlmen -- knew each other from the Navy.

"Hofferber became a suspect in what turned out to be a murder-for-hire involving the husband of the deceased," a detective wrote in a search warrant affidavit. "Marcus Hofferber confessed to his part of the crime and stated he and Cory Abshire had been planning this murder for a while now."

Inside Hofferber's pickup, police found a piece of paper with directions, a green folding knife, a mobile phone box and blue jeans, according to the warrant.

The detective also filed a search warrant to collect detailed cellphone records from Hofferber and Cory Abshire.

Cory Abshire is due in court Feb. 28, and Hofferber is to appear March 21.

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