Murder-for-hire suspect waives right to preliminary hearing - Albuquerque Journal

Murder-for-hire suspect waives right to preliminary hearing

A Las Cruces man accused of contacting an online website to arrange a murder for hire remained in federal custody Wednesday after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.

In a remote court appearance, Leif Hayman told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory Wormuth he wanted to forgo the hearing, which would have established whether there was probable cause to believe Hayman committed the crime he is charged with.

Hayman is charged with use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire. His arrest came after he allegedly contacted an online satirical website, rentahitman.com, in April asking for a hit man to harm his mother-in-law. The website operator alerted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which launched a criminal investigation.

The Journal incorrectly reported that Wednesday’s hearing was to consider an appeal of Wormuth’s June 3 order that Hayman be released pending trial on his personal recognizance with conditions.

After the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Cruces appealed that order, Wormuth ordered Hayman to remain in custody pending a U.S. District Court decision on the appeal. No date for a hearing on the issue had been set as of Wednesday afternoon.

His federal public defender, Don Morrison, on Wednesday asked that the U.S. Marshals Service ensure his client is receiving proper medical attention while at an Otero County federal prison facility.

“Every time I’ve seen Mr. Hayman at the jail, it seems to be a recurring issue … he has diabetes and with that, his sugar level is all over the place, judge, it’s out of control and they need to monitor it carefully.”

No trial date has been set in the case.

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