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Suspect in Scheme That Killed Two Gay Men Pleads Guilty

drug-induced robbery scheme that is alleged to have led to the deaths of two gay men in New York City last year has pleaded guilty to robbery, grand larceny, and identity theft charges, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.Eddie Ashley, 30, is alleged to have been part of a scheme that targeted at least 16 nightclub patrons from September 2021 to August 2022, resulting in the overdose-related deaths of 25-year-old social worker Julio Ramirez and 34-year-old John Umberger, a political consultant from Washington, D.C. Both Ramirez and Umberger were seen leaving gay bars with a group of other men, only to be found dead hours later.Part of the scheme involved the suspects drugging their victims with a substance that made them compliant and then using their incapacitated bodies and facial recognition technology to unlock their cell phones and access bank accounts to rob them.Ashley, who faced charges related to four separate incidents, including the drugging scheme, had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.On Monday, he changed his plea to guilty.Terrence Grifferty, Ashley’s attorney, confirmed his client’s guilty plea, telling NBC News that Ashley is expected to be sentenced to nine years in state prison on November 20.He is currently being held at Rikers Island jail, but declined to comment further on the case or answer whether his client had accepted a plea deal.Umberger’s mother, Linda Clary — who has been critical of how the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has handled the case — said she was grateful that Ashley was willing to admit his guilt in the robbery scheme, adding that he should face consequences for his actions.

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