Former pastor gets life behind bars for murder of disabled man

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A former pastor was sentenced on Monday to life in prison for ordering the murder of a blind, developmentally disabled man in Baltimore so he could collect $1.4 million in life insurance policies.

April 27, 2009 report on Pushia’s arrest

Reuters reports:

In August 2010, Kevin Pushia, 35, pleaded guilty to orchestrating the February 4, 2009 murder of Lemuel Wallace, who was picked up from his group home and shot dead in a park bathroom by an unknown gunman.

In addition to the life sentence ordered by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams, Pushia was sentenced to 45 years in prison for charges related to the insurance fraud.

Posing as Wallace’s sibling, Pushia, who also worked as a caseworker for a nonprofit organization that serves the developmentally disabled, listed himself on several of Wallace’s life insurance policies.

Two brothers, James Omar Clea III and Kareem Jamal Clea, were charged with executing the murder but were acquitted last month after a trial in which Pushia provided erratic and often contradictory testimony against them.

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This post was last updated: Oct. 18, 2011