Medford Pharmacy Massacre Suspect David Laffer Indicted On Additional Charges

RIVERHEAD, NY (CBSNewYork) — The suspect accused of killing four people at a Medford pharmacy was indicted Thursday on additional charges.

PHOTOS: Medford Pharmacy Massacre

David Laffer, 33, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and four counts of criminal use of firearms. He has pleaded not guilty.

Laffer was originally charged with only one count of first-degree murder and resisting arrest.

The five first-degree murder counts are for the deaths of the four victims and an umbrella charge for multiple murders, according to the indictment.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports: Courtroom Filled With Victims’ Family Members

If convicted, Laffer faces life without parole on the murder charges and up to 25 years on each weapons charge.

In a news conference Thursday, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said he will seek the maximum punishment for Laffer if he is convicted.


“In my view, he should spend the rest of his life behind bars without ever seeing the light of day, without any hope in the future of enjoying even one day of freedom,” said Spota.

Spota then released new grisly details about the deadly Father’s Day shooting. Spota said Laffer had been looking for a pharmacy to rob for days before settling on Haven Drugs.

He said after then staking out the Medford pharmacy the night before, Laffer disguised himself using mascara, a fake beard, sunglasses and a hat.

Then, Spota said, Laffer was seen on surveillance video as he walked into the pharmacy on June 19 with a gun in a backpack. He started talking with pharmacist Raymond Ferguson and store clerk, 17-year-old Jennifer Mejia, Spota said.

Spota said the conversation between Laffer, Mejia and Ferguson could be heard on the video.

Mejia told Ferguson that on the previous evening, she and her mother had gone to the mall to look for a dress her mother could wear to her upcoming graduation ceremony, Spota said.

“We then hear [Mejia] telling Mr. Ferguson that she had attended Mass that Saturday evening. Those were virtually the last words that Ms. Mejia ever spoke,” said Spota.

Then Spota said Laffer put a backpack on the pharmacy counter “with his right hand in the backpack, most likely holding the .45-caliber weapon, the murder weapon.”

Spota said Laffer asked Mejia if he could speak privately with Ferguson. She then walked a few feet away and Laffer continued to talk with the pharmacist about different medications.

Then, Spota said, Laffer opened fire.

“Without any demand whatsoever for drugs or for money, he shoots Mr. Ferguson in the abdomen through the backpack,” said Spota.

1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Spota Says Mejia Cowering In An Alcove

Spota said after Laffer shot Ferguson, he turned his attention to Mejia.

“In a second or two, we hear two loud shots,” said Spota. “She’s heard screaming. The killer has shot her twice, killing her.”

Spota said at this point, Ferguson was still alive and could be seen moving on the floor in the video. After shooting Mejia, Spota said Laffer went back to Ferguson.

“He looks at Mr. Ferguson, who is lying on his back, still moving and he walks over to him and at point-blank range, he shoots him twice in the face, killing him,” he said.

Spota said Laffer then started looking for drugs behind the counter when something got his attention.

“It appears to us that he sees someone approaching the pharmacy. He hurries to the front of the pharmacy and hides,” said Spota.

That’s when Spota said 71-year-old Bryon Sheffield walked into Haven Drugs and was shot execution-style.

“Mr. Sheffield walks into the pharmacy and we then see the killer coming directly behind Mr. Sheffield and shooting him in the back of the head,” said Spota.

Spota said Laffer then stepped over Sheffield and went back behind the counter and started stuffing his backpack with pill bottles.

That’s when Spota said Laffer got distracted again, because he apparently saw 33-year-old Jamie Taccetta walking up to the door.

Spota said Laffer ran to the front door and hid. As Taccetta walked in the store, he shot her in the back of the head.

“Not one person ever resisted,” said Spota. “Two of the people, Mr. Sheffield and Ms. Taccetta, never even knew that the killer was in the store. Yet he executed every single one of them in cold blood.”

Spota said Laffer then went back and forth between the pharmacy counter, filling his bag with prescription drugs.

He said Laffer then began using his sweatshirt to wipe away any fingerprints and “takes great pains” in wiping off the countertop.

But, Spota said, Laffer was seen touching a piece of paper that investigators say later linked him to the crime scene.

Laffer then took off and moments later, Spota said, Taccetta’s fiance walked into the store, screamed and called 911.

Taccetta’s fiance later identified Laffer as the man he saw leaving the pharmacy just after the shootings, said Spota.

As part of their investigation, Spota said police scoured the area for additional surveillance video that might lead to clues in the case.

He said about 30 to 40 minutes after the shootings at Haven Drugs, Laffer and his wife, 29-year-old Melinda Brady, were seen on surveillance video inside a nearby convenience store acting as if nothing had happened.

“We believe that they purposely did that. They knew there was a surveillance camera at the convenience store so they could set up an alibi,” said Spota.

Laffer and Brady were arrested at their home on June 22.

Police said they found 11,000 hydrocodone pills inside Laffer and Brady’s basement apartment and that the two were “obviously under the influence” of narcotics when they were arrested.

Spota said seven shell casings were also found at the crime scene and that all seven matched Laffer’s registered gun.

Laffer’s attorney, Mary Beth Abbate, said she believes Brady turned her husband into a drug addict.

Laffer has been held without bail in protective custody in the Suffolk County jail since his arrest.

Abbate denied that it’s Laffer in the surveillance images and said his fingerprints that were found at the crime scene weren’t fresh, adding Laffer was a frequent customer of the store.

“Fingerprints last forever if they’re not wiped off,” Abbate said.

But Spota said Laffer was seen touching that piece of paper on the morning of June 19.

“We see on the video that the defendant touches the paper and he leaves two tell-tale fingerprints, two separate prints of his left index finger which have been matched to prints that were taken at the time he applied for his pistol permit,” Spota said.

Further complicating Laffer’s defense are statements from his own wife, who told reporters last week “He did all of this. I’m sorry.”

Brady faces robbery and obstruction charges. Prosecutors said she drove the getaway car and helped plan the horrific crime.

Police have said she has cooperated with investigators, but Laffer’s attorney said Brady would say anything to save her own skin.

Prosecutors said she may also face additional or upgraded charges from a grand jury.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Darlene

    Laffer knew beforehand that the worst he could ever get would be life with three squares a day, medical care, AC in the summer, heat in the winter and a host of other rights guaranteed to him and paid for by all of us. It wouldn’t have mattered if he raped, tortured and then slaughtered a thousand people in the pharmacy that day. And not one victim had the right to carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves. Maybe soon, all pharmacists, at least, will be allowed to protect themselves in such a manner.



  • tmo49

    She is required to provide the best defense to her client that she can give. Failure to do so would result in the loss of her license to practice law. If she were representing you, you would want her to do the same for you.

  • LG

    What does the white trash laden NRA have said about all this? Anything? Or are they keeping silent like they do in every case of mass murder by hand gun?

    • NRA

      Brilliant comment LG, well thought out and concise. Who would you be railing agains if he had used a hatchet, or a machete? What if he had used a kitchen knife and cut their throats? Would you be railing against the food network? Please don’t tell me you’re so stupid that you think the gun and not the person holding it commited this senseless act?

    • starviego

      Most of these notorious mass killing events are in fact CIA-style covert operations, the agenda being gun control and the growth of the police state.

  • margie

    I am definetly for the death penalty especially for these 2 monsters. But I have been thinking lately that even if they get the death penalty it will take years and years to execute them due to appeals. In this case this would be great because convicts who are sentenced to death are not mixed with the general population. If my sources are correct they stay in their cells with no tv or books and have access to a walk yard once or twice a week. and thats it. Thiis would lead to a very sad and boring life and would drive them crazy which is what they deserve. If he gets life inprisonment with no chance of parole he will be mixed with the general population and will be in constant danger from attacks by other inmates. I gues he’ll be stuck between a rock and a hard place. So is it better to let him have the easy way out and be immediately executed in a painless way (unlike his viictums) or serve life?

  • Larry Schwarz

    We have had multiple drug robberys at Pharmacys in Salt Lake City.No one to my knowledge has been hurt and Police usually catch the punks.I am sure The Pharmacist would have given Laffer whatever he wanted,he did not have to execute four people.I agree with Lydia,if a case ever called for the death penalty,this is it.Perhaps someone will take Laffer out in Jail.Though I am sure he is well guarded.I would not condone this,but would not loose any sleep over it either.Laffer is a sadistic monster.

  • John Woo

    What the he11 is the so called “umbrella charge” is going to do anyway? Like he’s getting out even with four first degree murders? It’s RIDICULOUS. It’s amazing they find more ways to spend more on this POS. Fair justice would be one meal, 8oz of water in a confine 4×4 foot cell with no windows 24x7x365 til death.

  • starviego

    I think Laffer is innocent. The video images don’t even look like hime. He has no record of violence. The police have been caught making all sorts of statements that are untrue. First they had a ballistics match, then they didn’t. He was high when arrested, then he wasn’t. They found the drugs in his home, then they were still looking for them, then they found 1000 pills, now they found all the pills.

    Does the surveillance video from the convenience store show Laffer wearing his fake beard? I doubt it. There was no fake beard. the shooter is somebody entirely different.

  • thor's hammer

    this is only the grand jury indictment. the “public defender” will no doubt ask for a change of venue to get a fair trial for their client. hmmm, antartica in the middle of winter would be about the only place. i’m in favor of putting them both in a 4X4 cell with some of the drugs they stole. oh yeah, the cell is soundproof. since we have the video evidence from the pharmacy & convenience store, the da really doesn’t need to do a deal with her. something painful & prolonged for both of them. “as ye sow, so shall ye reap.” justice for the victims.!

    • Larry Schwarz

      Give him a change of venue,in fact it would be nice if The Feds could prosecute this one.Laffer will fry anywhere they try him,I do not think a change of venue should be opposed by The Suffolk DA.

  • pikachu

    Yes, death penalty is too good for him, but that’s also good for tax payers pocket!! I don’t want to spend my tax $$ on this worthless jerk

  • Longrod von Hugendong

    Laffer’s attorney, Mary Beth Abbate, really comes across as a fool with some of her comments. Nice :)

  • Matthew Behrman

    bigg bubba time for the coward and big marge for the wife!

  • Nick

    Cuomo doesn’t believe in death penalties. So slimes like this stays alive and well fed on our tax dollars.

    But it’s ok to kill unborn babies.

  • Cathy V

    The only good ending here would have been the cops lighting both of those skels up inside their home. Now its 3 hots and a cot for the rest of their miserable lives, on the taxpayers’ dime…what a shame.

  • oh the humanity

    “grizzly” details? Honestly?

  • barneyblue

    He needs to be flogged and stoned publicly. THen lashed with a cane a few hundred times like they do in muslim countries. THen put him on trial and lock him in solitary for 20 years. Then they need to execute him by firing squad. Locking him up is way toooo easy for the damage he caused.

  • Rob

    Why can’t they just execute this fool.

  • Linda

    Maximum security. Let them go mad for what they did to innocent defenseless people.

  • Hank Kozak

    Pull the switch on both of them. They should fry in H__l for ever!!!!!!

  • danny

    The death penalty is way too easy. Life. In solitary. 4 X 4 cell with no window, No toilet. Just a bucket. That is true punishment. After 2 years, he’ll be naming his poopie Maria.

    • Ken F

      Why Maria? He should be calling his poopie Melinda after his trash wife.

    • Rob

      like that is what he would get? No, he will be in a cell with air conditioning, heat in the winter. His clothes will be washed for him. He gets three meals, showers, shelter from the elements, a mattress, toilet, sink with clean water. Guess who pays for that, that 17 year olds parents, the 33 year olds fiancee (who no longer has her), the grand kids of the older people killed, and the rest of us.
      Zap him, then it will only be a few years we have to pay. Hopefully some thug will teach him a thing or two in jail.

      • jtorres

        Zapping him takes up to 15 years, (at least) because of all the appeals he’s “entitled to.” And that’s if it gets that far. His conviction is a forgone conclusion but any appeal may overturn his conviction on a technicality or can delay his execution indefinately. Just ask the people on Death Row in California and Texas. The appeals cost the state (read: taxpayers) millions in court costs and attorney fees. Lock him up in the general pop and he won’t last long enough to drain the taxpayers.

  • Kate Jack

    Husband and wife deserved the same treatment…
    God bless 4 lovely people and their family….

  • dog screamer

    I say we clone them and then kill them everyday for a lifetime . Maybe even the relatives of those killed would get a turn.

  • Clark A.

    What does you being a female doctor have to do with this case? – Clark

    • General

      I think husband and wife should face the same charges. She is as culpable as he in these killings. God be with the families.

      Lydia is only after a guy!! She/he could care less about any issue at all that doesn’t relate to Lydia. Only saying she/he is that you are never really sure these day. Lydia try promoting someplace else. Please get a life.

  • F.R. Pope

    I don’t care for this murderer’s attorney,either.

  • Rick

    If there was ever any crime that called for the death penalty this is it!
    I hope they file similar charges against the woman. She deserves nothing less.

    • criminaldefenselawyer

      they CAN’T get the death penalty in NY…it was declared unconstitutional years ago

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