The man denies the charge of kidnapping in the alleged hired murder

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – A man from Colorado pleaded not guilty Thursday in federal court in Vermont to kidnapping …

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – A man from Colorado pleaded not guilty to the abduction of a man who was later found shot dead in a December 2018 in a 2018 murder case in a federal court in Vermont on Thursday. financial dispute.

Federal prosecutors say they believe 34-year-old Jerry Banks of Fort Garland, Colorado, killed 49-year-old Gregory Davis of Danville, Vermont, but he has not been charged with murder. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Crawford ordered Banks to remain in custody pending trial, noting prosecutors’ concerns about his escape risk and security risk for potential witnesses.

“Anyone who kills for money is likely to kill or improperly influence a witness or otherwise try to influence the course of the trial, which will lead to his life in prison,” wrote Paul Van de Graaf and Jonathan Ophardt. , Assistant U.S. Attorney Vermont. in a motion for detention. They said Banks has a life story “offline” and has no strong ties to Vermont or anywhere else in the country.

Banks Federal Public Defender Mary Nerina did not dispute the detention and did not comment on the allegations after the indictment.

Davis was abducted from his home in Danville, Vermont, on January 6, 2018 and found shot the next day in a snowy dash on a driveway in Barnet.

The prosecutor’s office told in detail about the alleged conspiracy in a statement Monday in federal court in Las Vegas. They wrote that Davis had threatened to contact the FBI with information that 39-year-old Serhat Gumrukku, inventor and co-founder of a biotech company from Los Angeles, had deceived Davis in a multimillion-dollar oil deal between Gumrukcha and Gumrukju. brother in 2015.

Gurumkku was charged with fraud in California in 2017 and worked on an agreement that followed shortly after Davis ’death that gave him a significant stake in Enochian Bioscience.

“Therefore, Gumrukku had a strong motive to prevent Davis from reporting another fraud and possibly threatening the Enochian deal,” the statement said.

Banks was arrested in April in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. According to the testimony, FBI investigators used cell phone and car records to link Banks to the abduction.

Prosecutors have also charged 42-year-old Aaron Lee Etridge of Las Vegas with kidnapping in connection with Davis’ death. Prosecutors say that after the murder of Davis, Banks called Etridge, who has not pleaded guilty to kidnapping charges since then.

Last week, Gumrukku of Los Angeles and 35-year-old Burke Eratai of Las Vegas were arrested on charges of conspiracy to use interstate retail facilities to commit a contract murder that led to Davis ’death.

Lawyer Gumrucku did not immediately return the email on Wednesday asking for comment. Eratay’s lawyer said Eratay denies the allegations and is looking forward to his day in court.


Associated Press writer Wilson Ring in Stowe, Vermont, contributed to this report.

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