A bakery owner in Georgia was charged with murder on Thursday after police say he orchestrated a killing and cover-up to become full owner of his business.
Ross Byrne was taken into custody by the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday and was charged with multiple counts of felony murder, racketeering and conspiracy to commit a felony, according to jail records.
The 54-year-old’s charges stem from the death of his business partner, Jerry Moore, who was found stabbed to death in 2014, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Another man—with whom Byrne is alleged to have conspired—was sentenced to life in prison less than two weeks ago for stabbing the 46-year-old Moore to death, according to AJC. Jonathan Allen Wheeler was found guilty of malice murder and prosecutors described his crime as “one of the most brutal murders you’ll ever see.”
Moore was stabbed 32 times and was found in a pool of his own blood, according to the AJC.
Moore and Byrne were both co-owners of the “Best Dang Bakery Around” in Woodstock, Georgia, and had been in business together since 2008. Wheeler was at one time an employee of the business.
The business was estimated to be worth $70,000 and the partnership contract said that if either of the men died, the other would retain full ownership of the bakery, AJC reported. Prosecutors allege that by conspiring to kill his partner, Byrne was trying to take full control of the bakery.
The “primary purpose [for the murder] … was to steal an interest in the business of Best Dang Bakery (or bakery) as well as other property and things of value,” prosecutors said in an indictment reviewed by the East Cobb News.
While Wheeler did not work at the bakery at the time of the killing, he and Byrne remained in contacted and allegedly conspired to kill Moore, AJC reported. The two communicated over the phone “before and after” Moore’s death, prosecutors said.
In addition to being business partners, Moore and Byrne had also been roommates for seven years. Byrne moved out in 2014, and prosecutors said that the records show that the business relationship between to two had begun to crumble a year before, according to AJC.
At the same time the relationship started to go down-hill, prosecutors said Byrne started planning to kill Moore, AJC reported.
Byrne is currently in Cobb County Adult Detention Center and is being held with no bond, according to jail records.
[Photo: Cobb County Sheriff]