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A former Colorado lawyer who legally changed his name to that of a James Bond villain is accused of plotting with his mother to kill his father after learning he'd been cut out of his will.
Jean-Joseph Danger Le Chiffre, formerly known as 55-year-old Patrick Joseph Sandoval, and his mother Marcella Sandoval, now 78, were arrested last August in connection to the July murder of Gilbert Sandoval, according to the Colorado Springs police.
Le Chiffre is accused of beating his 83-year-old dad to death with a baseball bat inside a Colorado Springs home owned by both of the parents. He was charged with first-degree murder while his mother was charged with being an accessory.
Le Chiffre pleaded not guilty in court on Friday, during a hearing which unveiled strange details about the case. During the half-day long hearing, detectives outlined their case against Le Chiffre and his mother.
They claimed that Le Chiffre became enraged when he learned that his dad cut him out of his will in early 2020, according to The Colorado Springs Gazette. Investigators believe Le Chiffre then spent the next few months hatching a plan with his mother to kill his father. The mother-son duo allegedly planned to kill Gilbert so that Marcella could become the sole beneficiary of his estate, which she would in turn share with her son. They planned to make it look as though she killed him in self-defense.
At some point during the alleged plotting, Le Chiffre legally changed his name to match the villain in the James Bond film “Casino Royale." In the movie, Le Chiffre is an evil banker who finances the world's terrorist organizations.
The day of the murder, Marcella allegedly coaxed Gilbert into the home's basement, where Le Chiffre stood waiting with a Louisville Slugger baseball bat. Investigators believe that after he beat his father to death, Le Chiffre then cut up his mom’s arms and hands with a knife to make it look as though Gilbert attacked her first.
While Marcella initially allegedly told police that it was she who killed her husband, police doubted her story because of her limited physical strength.
Marcella is now a witness for the state. She pleaded guilty to being an accessory late last year and was sentenced in March to two years of probation. She did, however, give details about the months-long alleged murder plot.
“She was tired of how Gilbert treated her, was part of it, and the other part was financial—that Mr. Le Chiffre had been cut out of the will,” Det. Marcus Lehmkuhl testified during an August court disposition, the Daily Beast reports.
Le Chiffre’s lawyers have accused her other son Mark Sandoval of manipulating her into blaming her Le Chiffre for the assault in an ongoing feud over the family's money. While the amount of money at stake is unclear, Gilbert was at the very least a millionaire who owned numerous houses with Marcella, according to the Gazette.
Le Chiffre, who maintains his innocence, is scheduled to return to court on Wednesday so his trial can be set.
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