Heather Salmon, the wife of a former soldier already serving a life sentence for two murders in Long County back in December, 2011, today pled guilty herself.
Mrs. Salmon pled guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter and two counts of violating the street gang terrorism act. She was originally charged with 13 counts, including malice murder which could have meant life in prison.
It was all in connection with the execution style murders of 19 year old Michael Roark and 17 year old Tiffany York. Both were shot to death. The bodies were found on a deserted country road in Long County.
Prosecutors said Mrs. Salmon was involved in domestic terrorism. They said she was involved in the militia group as much as her husband Christopher who admitted to killing Michael Roark. They said Mrs. Salmon ran the finances for the FEAR group which at the time consisted of a number of active duty soldiers.
In making her plea, Mrs. Salmon admitted to the judge she was involved with the operation of the militia and believed overall in some of the goals although she told the judge she had been “naive” about a number of things. She told the judge she knew of the plans to murder the two teenagers and at first, resisted it but ultimately went along.
Mrs. Salmon was not present at the killings but provided gloves and other clothing to those that participated.
Morgan York, the sister of one of the victims said when her sister died their “whole world changed.”
York told the court she hopes Heather Salmon sits in jail for many years.
Brenda Thomas, Tiffany’s mother told the court that Heather Salmon could have stopped this but she didn’t.
Thomas also said it was incomprehensible that Heather Salmon, a mother herself, would have participated in something that took away her daughter Tiffany.
Prosecutors said they would agree to a deal of 20 years on the voluntary manslaughter charges and ten years probation on the gang terrorism charges.
York’s family objected to that 20 year sentence,saying Mrs. Salmon should go to prison for the rest of her life.
Michael Jarr, the grandfather of Michael Roark also said he did not agree with the recommended sentence. Jarr said the mental anguish suffered by his family over the last three and a half years is indescribable.
In making his sentence, Judge Robert Russell told Salmon that as part of this plea agreement she cannot have any contact with members of the victim’s family. The deal also included other provisions including not being able to have a social media account, once she is on probation.
In the end, the judge accepted the plea agreement and sentenced Salmon to serve a total of 20 years in prison to be followed by ten years on probation.
Michael Durden, the district attorney for the Atlantic Judicial District told reporters that while the families may be disappointed in the sentence, that the three main culprits in the murders, Isaac Aguigui, Anthony Peden and Salmon’s husband are all serving life sentences.