Copyright © 2018 Albuquerque Journal
William Paul Alexander was a gifted cheesecake baker who had big plans to open a café on Central.
He found a location close to the University of New Mexico and came up with a name: “Felony Cafe,” reads a large sign painted on the west side of the building, “It is a crime it tastes so good.”
“So that was his dream, the Felony Cafe,” said Michael Patrick, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office. “It never went any further than the paint on the exterior.”
Instead, Alexander was charged in June 2016 in the bludgeoning death of 29-year-old Tiffany Boyer.
And on Tuesday, he was sentenced to life plus 36 years in prison after a jury in January found him guilty of first-degree murder and lesser charges. As he handed down the sentence, 2nd Judicial District Judge Brett Loveless said the case spoke to “the abhorrent brutality humanity is capable of.”
Alexander’s three co-defendants, whom his attorney referred to as a “cast of deplorables,” have already been sentenced for their roles in the crime.
According to prosecutors, in August 2015, the group took Boyer to a home in Northeast Albuquerque where she and her boyfriend were held for several hours. She was beaten and killed, and her body was dumped close to Mountainair.
Police have said that Boyer was targeted because the group believed she played a role in the death of their friend, Robert “Machete Bob” McGuire. McGuire was killed – possibly with a crossbow – shortly after Boyer accused him of rape. Prosecutors have said that Alexander was the “primary bad actor” in the murder.
Alexander’s attorney, Liane Kerr, argued during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing that there was no DNA or fingerprint evidence incriminating her client, who around the same time had been trying to open a business that would employ people convicted of crimes.
“He, by all accounts, baked wonderful cheesecakes,” Kerr said in court. “His idea was, ‘Let’s get jobs for these folks, we’ll call it the Felony Cafe. I will hire people who have gotten out of custody who want to make their lives better.’ ”
In his own statement to the judge, the 58-year-old mentioned his restaurant plans and denied killing Boyer.
“I was trying to help people,” Alexander said. “I wasn’t trying to hurt Tiffany.”
Prosecutor Sean Sullivan said he was shocked to hear Alexander refusing to take responsibility for the crime.
“He’s not a small-business owner, he’s a murderer,” Sullivan said after asking the judge to hand down the maximum sentence. “This isn’t about cheesecake, it’s about a life, and he took Tiffany Boyer’s life.”
Boyer’s father, Blair, said the sentence came as a relief to his family. He has previously described his daughter as a sassy and strong-willed mother of two who was quick to help others.
“This is the day we can finally close the book on this story and truly begin to heal,” Boyer said in court.
Tuesday’s hearing effectively brings the nearly three-year-old case to a close. No arrests have been made in McGuire’s death.
As for the would-be Felony Cafe, the property owner said Tuesday he is in the process of repainting the building, which currently features painted yellow police tape that reads “crime scene” and “come on in.” He said the tenant abruptly abandoned the project a few years ago.