By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Willow Grove, Pa. man was today ordered held for trial in connection with a crime spree that allegedly used Craigslist ads as bait.
Two witnesses have testified they were lured to a meeting based on a Craigslist ad for a dirtbike, and were then robbed at gunpoint by defendant Thomas Coffee and at least two other men.
According to the witnesses, Coffee and his partners threatened to kill them if they did not cooperate.
Then, days later, victim Daniel Cooke was shot and killed after he answered a similar ad, for an all-terrain vehicle.
There are no known witnesses to the shooting, but Philadelphia prosecutor Nick Liermann says evidence links Coffee to the ATV ad.
And, Liermann says, there’s more:
“The detectives, through their efforts, were able to use the cell phone evidence to track the defendant coming from the scene of the crime all the way back to his house where ultimately the defendant was found, as well as the cell phone he used.”
Authorities say they don’t know if anyone else was involved in the Cooke murder — there have been no additional arrests in any of these cases — but the investigation continues.
Coffee will plead not guilty. His attorney says he will challenge the circumstantial evidence in the murder and the identifications by the robbery victims.