U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Eastern District of Virginia
For Immediate Release
August 27, 2009
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney
Contact: Peter Carr, Public Information Officer
(703) 549-5202 (fax)
Contact: Margaret Jahn
Jury Sentences Contract Killer To Death
(Alexandria, Va.) — David Anthony Runyon, age 38, of Morgantown, W.Va., was sentenced to death by a federal jury today for murdering Navy sailor Cory Allen Voss as part of a contract killing devised by the sailor’s wife and boyfriend.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and close friends of Cory Allen Voss at this time. We would like to thank the prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and federal agents who worked so hard on this case.” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
“While we can’t bring Mr. Voss back, our hope is that his family and friends can find some solace in the fact that investigators worked tirelessly to bring this case to a successful conclusion,” said Phillip M. Durham, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF) Washington Field Division.
On July 17, 2009, the jury convicted Runyon of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, carjacking resulting in death and use of a firearm during a crime of violence resulting in death. The boyfriend, Michael Anthony Eric Draven, age 29, of Newport News, Va., was also convicted on July 17, 2009, of related charges involving the contract killing and faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison when he is sentenced on Nov. 17, 2009, in Norfolk. The sailor’s wife, Catherina Rose Voss, age 34, of Newport News, Va., pled guilty on Nov. 14, 2008, and is serving a life sentence in prison. Runyon will be formally sentenced on December 4, 2009 in Norfolk.
According to court records and evidence introduced at trial, Voss and Draven met while Cory Voss was on a six-month deployment for the U.S. Navy in 2006. The affair continued after his return, in which Voss and Draven discussed marriage and referred to each other as husband and wife.
In early 2007, Voss and Draven began to contemplate murdering Cory Voss, who had a $400,000 life insurance policy and a $100,000 death gratuity through the military. Draven met Runyon while at a medical research study in Baltimore, Md., and they discussed hiring Runyon, a former member of the U.S. Army and former police officer, to kill Cory Voss. These discussions continued and ultimately formulated into a plan to pay Runyon $20,000 to murder Cory Voss at the Oyster Point Branch of Langley Federal Credit Union (LFCU). Sometime after 11:00 p.m. the night of April 29, 2007, Runyon – armed with a firearm purchased earlier that day in Morgantown – entered Cory Voss’s truck and shot the sailor five times resulting in his death. This case was investigated by the Newport News Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Naval Criminal Investigative Services. Assistant United States Attorneys Brian Samuels and Lisa McKeel prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of press releases involving this case may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information on this case may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.