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Prince William jail officer arrested and accused of role in scheme

A Prince William County man’s alleged scheme to pay someone $2,000 to kill his stepson took an additional twist Thursday when police announced that a county jail officer was arrested for trying to help put the stepson in a compromising situation, according to county police and prosecutors.

Ralph Lester Justice, 61, who police said was an officer at the Prince William County Adult Detention Center, was an acquaintance of Michael George Rusinack, 50, who is accused of plotting to kill his 28-year-old stepson, authorities said.

The two were allegedly scheming to have the stepson arrested and put in jail, then put him “in a situation where the victim could be sexually assaulted,” according to a county police statement. The plot never resulted in the arrest of the stepson, police said.

Rusinack was “disenchanted with his stepson for a number of reasons,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul B. Ebert said. Police said in a statement that the two were “involved in a continuous domestic related feud.”

County police said they learned of the alleged murder-for-hire plot on May 8 and began an investigation.

Ralph Lester Justice (Prince William County Police)

In the days that followed, Rusinack offered a “cooperating witness” $2,000 to kill his stepson, and the witness then introduced Rusinack to an undercover police detective, according to court records. Rusinack offered to pay the detective to kill his stepson and, court records say, “gave him instructions on how he wanted it done.”

Rusinack, of the 15000 block of Donald Curtis Drive in Woodbridge, was charged with solicitation to commit capital murder and is being held without bond.

Justice, of the 15900 block of Crest Drive in Woodbridge, was charged with conspiracy to commit forcible sodomy. He is being held on a $3,000 secured bond.

The men are scheduled to appear in court on June 13.

Ebert said that Justice’s alleged plot with Rusinack and the murder-for-hire scheme were not connected. Investigators know of no other law enforcement officers involved in either plot, Ebert said.

Jail officials and a lawyer for Rusinack could not be reached Thursday for comment. It was unclear Thursday whether Justice has a lawyer, and his employment status was unknown.


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