Trial date set for man accused of orchestrating murder of ex-wife

Trial date set for man accused of orchestrating murder of ex-wife
Hamid Ghassemi

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The man accused of orchestrating the murder of his ex-wife is set to stand trial.

Hamid Ghassemi will face a jury on March 16, 2020. The case will be heard in Judge Anthony Marabella’s courtroom.

Taherah Ghassemi (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)
Taherah Ghassemi (Source: East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office)

Ghassemi, 67, is accused of hiring Daniel Richter, 33, of Walker; Tyler Ashpaugh, 20, of Denham Springs; and Skyler Williams, 17, of Denham Springs, to execute the murder of Taherah Ghassemi, 54, who was reported missing on April 11, 2015.

The day after Taherah was reported missing, her car was found on fire and empty on Chalma Avenue near Choctaw Drive.

Taherah’s body was later found in a heavily wooded-area in St. Helena Parish. Autopsy reports show she had been shot, burned and buried.

Ashpaugh was initially charged with first degree murder, but he entered a guilty plea on July 12, 2018 due to a plea deal. His charge was reduced to manslaughter in exchange for his testimony against his co-defendants.

RELATED: Accused trigger man in murder-for-hire plot pleads guilty to lesser charge

In October 2018, Richer also pleaded guilty.

Williams, who was 17 years old at the time, is charged with first-degree murder.

Copyright 2019 WAFB. All rights reserved.