BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — Two men facing federal charges connected to the 2018 abduction and killing of a Vermont man are scheduled to go on trial in the fall of 2024, a judge decided Friday.
U.S. District Court Judge Geoffrey Crawford set an Oct. 7, 2024 start date for the trial of Serhat Gumrukcu, of Los Angeles, and Berk Eratay, of Las Vegas. They pleaded not guilty last year to a charge of wire fraud as part of an alleged international murder-for-hire conspiracy that was tied to an oil deal. The two men were previously charged with arranging to have the third defendant, Jerry Banks, kidnap and kill Gregory Davis, 49, of Danville, Vermont.
Banks, of Colorado, who prosecutors say abducted and killed Davis, changed his plea to guilty earlier this month.
Prosecutors say Banks was part of a plot that began when Davis had been threatening to go to the FBI to report he’d been involved in a fraudulent oil deal with Gumrukcu. Davis’ body was found by the side of a snowy Vermont back road.
A fourth person, Aren Lee Ethridge, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in July and is awaiting sentencing.