Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jon Laubach: Death of a Chelsea Businessman

Left: Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera, Right: Edwin Faulkner. Police photo.

Wanted

Within hours of John Laubach’s death, a man tried four times to withdraw money from an ATM at a Chase branch on East 14th Street as security camera filmed him. Someone tried to use the same debit/credit card at a Bronx diner that night. Cops released three photos of the man who attempted the ATM withdrawal. An anonymous tip soon identified him as Edwin Faulkner of Brownsville and Staten Island.

Faulkner been released on parole the previous November after serving almost three years in a New York State prison for attempted grand larceny in the third degree. By the time of Laubach’s murder Faulkner had an open arrest warrant for violating the terms of that parole. He’d previously served a two-year probation after being convicted in 2003 of receiving stolen property in Hudson County, NJ, and he’d also been in trouble with the cops for drug possession and for trying to sell marijuana to an undercover officer (the marijuana turned out to be fake).

Detectives determined that the electrical cord that bound Laubach came from a lamp in the apartment and that it had been cut with a kitchen knife. Fingerprints on the knife matched Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera’s. Martinez-Herrera had been arrested four times in his native Florida, including once for drug possession and once for a gunpoint robbery (the robbery charges were dropped). When Laubach died, Martinez-Herrera was already wanted for a probation violation.

Police received reports saying that two men matching photos and descriptions of Faulkner and Martinez-Herrera were hiding out at an apartment on University Avenue in the Bronx.

Caught

But by the time investigators tracked them to the Bronx for the murder of John Laubach, Edwin Faulkner and Juan Carlos Martinez-Herrera had fled.

The duo kept using their cell phones. It was easy enough for the cops to trace their location to Orlando, Florida.

The morning of March 13, 2015, cops from the NYPD’s Violent Felony Squad, 10th Precinct, and Manhattan South Homicide Squad, cooperating with the Orange County Sheriff’s office, arrested Faulkner and Martinez-Herrera. The pair were promptly extradited back to New York.

Prosecutors say that Faulkner quickly confessed under questioning and that he admitted that he’d choked Laubach to death during sex.

Faulkner and Martinez-Herrera were arraigned March 18, 2012, and charged with the murder of the lonely older man who’d wanted their company. Their trial is pending.




Sources

Antenucci, Antonio and Annie Karni (2012, March 19). Chelsea ‘slay’ duo in court. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/chelsea_slay_duo_in_court_DdsBQfks1K7Ec6OCNG9OBM, retrieved 5/14/12.

Armaghan, Sarah and Rocco Parascandola (2012, March 12). Police hunting for two suspects in killing of Chelsea businessman John Laubach. New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/police-hunting-suspects-killing-chelsea-businessman-john-laubach-article-1.1037780, retrieved 5/14/12.

Auer, Doug and Jamie Schram (2012, March 15). Suspects in Chelsea gay-tryst slay nabbed in Florida. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/suspects_in_chelsea_gay_tryst_slay_HfU9aNhs1x7tKVeH3LVjhO, retrieved 5/14/12.

Auer, Doug and Jamie Schram and Larry Celona (2012, March 16). ‘Killers’ caught. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/killers_caught_ODwl5D7BBL0vTpB5md7ANI , retrieved 5/14/12.

Campbell, James and Tamer El-Ghobashy (2012, March 15). Arrests in Chelsea Homicide. Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304459804577283960435024128.html, retrieved 5/15/12.

Chinese, Vera and Kevin Deutsch (2012, March 18). Pair killed floral designer John Laubach during sex to pawn jewelry, prosecutors charge. New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/pair-killed-floral-designer-john-laubach-sex-pawn-jewelry-prosecutors-charge-article-1.1041879, retrieved 5/14/12.

Joseph, Channing (2012, March 12). Suspects sought in death of Chelsea man. New York Times, http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/12/suspects-sought-in-death-of-chelsea-man/, retreived 5/14/12.

Conley, Kirstan (2012, March 18). Florist ‘killers’ back in Apple. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/florist_killers_back_in_apple_j9izYyVD09zcHrySmytJ5H, retrieved 5/14/12.

Lestch, Corinne, Joe Kemp and Larry McShane (2012, March 3). Manhattan man found murdered, gagged, bound in Chelsea. New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan-man-found-murdered-gagged-bound-chelsea-apartment-article-1.1032404, retrieved 5/14/12.

Parascandola, Rocco (2012, March 15). Duo nabbed in Florida for slaying of Chelsea businessman. New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/duo-nabbed-florida-slay-chelsea-businessman-article-1.1039714, retrieved 5/14/12.

Russell, Anna, Sarah Armaghan and Barry Paddock (2012, March 5). Cops are hunting for man caught on ATM surveillance camera trying to take cash out of slain businessman’s account. New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/men-sought-murder-chelsea-businessman-john-laubach-article-1.1033376 retrieved 5/14/12.

Russell, Anna and Barry Paddock (2012, March 4). Chelsea businessman victim remembered by his church. New York Daily News, retrieved 5/14/12.

Schram, Jamie and Doug Auer (2012, March 13). 2 suspects in gay “tryst” slay. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/suspects_in_tryst_slay_Voud40A1vO5NiDgmXzsUQO, retrieved 5/14/12.

Schram, Jamie and Doug Auer (2012, March 12). Two suspects ID’d in connection with Chelsea floral designer slay. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/suspects_in_floral_designer_slay_6IlxjduPSx8EJbG6Rmc04I, retrieved 5/14/12.

Schram, Jamie and Josh Saul (2012, March 5). Cops seeking to question man in Chelsea apartment slay. New York Daily News, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/cops_slay_man_as_person_of_interest_jLmApdHant6n3A8ZOodpiK, retrieved 5/14/12.

Schram, Jamie and Josh Saul (2012, March 6). Cops seeking this man in Chelsea slay. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/cops_seeking_this_man_in_chelsea_ygswQ2T2j7AY2PWuoLX9HO, retrieved 5/14/12.

Schram, Jamie, Georgett Roberts, Brad Hamilton and Kathianne Boniello (2012, March 4). Bound & gagged “hookup” slay. New York Post, http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/bound_gagged_in_hookup_slay_5E1g1dP6vwc4SAoQASYzHJ, retrieved 5/14/12.

Shallwani, Pervaiz and Will James (2012, March 4). Two sought in Chelsea death. Wall Street Journal, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203458604577261870033391572.html, retrieved 5/15/12.

Trapasso, Clare and John Doyle (2012, March 18). Two suspects extradited in brutal Chelsea murder. New York Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/suspects-extradited-brutal-chelsea-murder-article-1.1041703, retrieved 5/14/12.

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