Convict charged in plot to kidnap district judge

A Harrisburg man serving prison time for the abduction of a Lancaster County family nine years ago has been charged in a plot to kidnap a district judge.

Anthony Marcus Davis, 29, solicited his cellmate to kidnap Dauphin County District Judge George Zozos and his wife Ginger, according to charging documents filed Wednesday by the Dauphin County Criminal Investigation Division.

According to the criminal complaint, Davis’s former cellmate informed authorities of the plot after he was paroled from the State Correctional Institute at Benner last month.

The cellmate, identified in the complaint as Kenneth Pailen, said he and Davis had a conversation about kidnapping Zozos and/or his wife.

The plot involved contacting the judge’s brother, bail bondsman Dimitri Zozos, to have him send a constable to SCI Benner to get Davis released from prison.

Pailen provided a letter sent to his home in which Davis allegedly gave detailed instructions for the kidnapping, including the work hours of George and Ginger Zozos and what actions Pailen should take to make sure the victims did not escape, the complaint states.

The letter gave detailed instructions on how to get Davis released from prison and listed items Pailen would need for the kidnapping; including disguises, stun guns, handcuffs, duct tape, a safe house and a pre-paid cell phone.

Davis also indicated in the letter that he had enlisted a former cellmate at SCI Rockview, identified in the court document as Matthew Zeno, to take part in the kidnappings.

Davis told investigators he had another inmate write the letter for him, but refused to give that person’s name. He also admitted that he knew what was in the letter, and he repeated during an interview that “no crime was even committed,” the complaint states.

He also told investigators that he would take the fall for everything, and if charges were filed he said that would be fine.

Davis denied knowing Zeno, but his former cellmate confirmed Davis had spoken to him on the phone and through letters about kidnappings for ransom, according to the complaint.

In recorded phone conversations between Davis and Zeno, Davis asked Zeno to get with Pailen and “get this done for me,” the complaint states.

Zeno also provided a letter from Davis that outlined Davis’s plan to kidnap Secretary of Corrections John Wetzel and acting Warden of SCI Benner Tammy Ferguson.

He further stated that Davis also wanted him to kidnap a Lancaster bail bondsman, according to the complaint.

Davis was charged with a first-degree felony count of criminal solicitation to commit kidnapping.

He is serving 20 1/2 to 40 years in prison for the abduction of a Mount Joy couple and their 12-year-old son in October 2005.

Davis and two co-defendants, Raymond Gaines of Atlantic City, New Jersey and Amber-Sunshine Griggs of Shippensburg, broke into David and Patricia Westervelt’s home in the middle of the night and kidnapped the family in a plot to rob the vault of a Harrisburg-area bank where Mrs. Westervelt worked.

David Westervelt was shot in the back when he tried to escape, Patricia Westervelt was hospitalized after she jumped from her own minivan on Route 283, and their son was released at a Carlisle shopping center unharmed, according to ABC 27 records.

Davis pleaded pleading guilty to charges including kidnapping for ransom, burglary and robbery. Gaines received a 24- to 50-year prison sentence, and Griggs was sentenced to 10 to 20 years.

The three were also charged in the armed robbery of a Carlisle motel in October 2005.

Zozos issued a statement through his attorney in which he thanked law enforcement for bringing this to case to closure.

Attorney Bill Costopoulos said it has been a very disturbing few weeks for Zozos and his wife, and they’re relieved it’s over.

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