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Police: Accused Windsor Twp. hit man was known as 'Nazi'

Liz Evans Scolforo

A former Windsor Township man accused of being the hit man in a Delaware murder-for-hire case was known to his three co-defendants as "Nazi" and used a Louisville Slugger to beat his victim to death, according to court documents obtained by The York Dispatch.

Ryan Shover

Ryan W. Shover, 44, formerly of the 2900 block of East Prospect Road and later of the Red Carpet Inn on Lewisberry Road in Fairview Township, remains locked up in a Wilmington, Delaware, prison without bail.

On Jan. 19, a grand jury in Delaware indicted him on charges of first-degree murder, possession of a deadly weapon during the commission of a felony, insurance fraud and conspiracy.

It is a capital murder case, according to Shover's criminal docket. However, the president judge of Delaware Superior Court on Feb. 1 halted all death-penalty trials and hearings while the state's Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of Delaware's death-penalty law, The Associated Press reported last week.

Michael Kman, the man accused of orchestrating the plot, is a Cumberland County resident who expected to benefit from the victim's life-insurance policy, court documents allege.

Kman, 51, of Enola, was also indicted Jan. 19 and is facing the same offenses as Shover. As of Tuesday afternoon, he remained in Cumberland County Prison on $1 million bail, according to prison records.

One of his family members told investigators that Kman tried to intimidate her by telling her that he had a man murdered for insurance money, according to court documents.

Two other co-defendants — Paul DiSabatino, 52, and David Hess, 41,  both of Claymont, Delaware — were arrested in May 2015, and both pleaded guilty Jan. 14 to criminally negligent homicide, first-degree conspiracy and insurance fraud, according to Carl Kanefsky, spokesman for the Delaware Attorney General's Office.

The allegations: Shover used a white aluminum Louisville Slugger softball bat to fatally beat 43-year-old Wayne Cappelli of Claymont the night of Feb. 16, 2013, documents allege. Cappelli suffered "significant" head trauma, according to those documents.

Cappelli was walking home from his job at Super Fresh supermarket sometime after 9 p.m. when Shover attacked him in a wooded area off Delaview Avenue in Wilmington's Silvercroft neighborhood, documents state. Cappelli's body was discovered two days later, officials said.

After searching the area, New Castle County Police found the Louisville Slugger ditched in a creek about a quarter-mile from where the body was found, according to documents.

"The bat had dents and a reddish substance consistent with blood," which was later determined to be a DNA match to Cappelli, documents state.

Beneficiary changed: Several months before Cappelli was killed, Kman, DiSabatino and Hess convinced him to change the beneficiary of his life-insurance policy, documents allege. The beneficiary had been his daughter, but Cappelli updated his policy to make either DiSabatino or Hess the beneficiary, according to documents.

Shover's Delaware court documents list DiSabatino and Hess merely as witnesses and not by name. The documents state Witness 1 became the named beneficiary, but those documents don't state which man is Witness 1 and which is Witness 2.

A subsequent affidavit obtained by The York Dispatch states DiSabatino was named beneficiary of the policy, worth more than $300,000. That document also states Cappelli and his daughter lived with DiSabatino for a time.

DiSabatino and Hess told investigators that Kman would receive the bulk of the life-insurance payout, documents state.

Hess also told police he assisted Cappelli in getting the life-insurance policy "upon the threat of harm from Michael Kman," court documents state.

DiSabatino told police Kman offered him "a large sum of money for his cooperation" in the murder conspiracy, according to documents.

'Nazi' hit man: The two also said Kman's "hit man" was a blond man with a mustache, chin beard and numerous chest tattoos who was called "Nazi," court documents allege.

Delaware investigators used cellphone records and tips from a family member of Kman's to track down Shover, then came to York County and staked out Shover's home to get photos of him and his vehicle, which had also been described by one of the co-defendants, records state.

Both DiSabatino and Hess were shown photos of Shover and identified him as "Nazi," according to court documents, which state that Witness 2 told investigators he rode around in a car with Shover in Wilmington to show Shover the route Cappelli used to walk home from work.

Shover allegedly said, "Yeah, this looks like it would work, a lot better than before," documents state. "Witness 2 explained that the first plan to murder Wayne Cappelli involved they alleyway in Claymont, Delaware, behind the residence where (Witness 2) and Cappelli were living."

Local raid: On Sept. 5, 2014, Shover lived in a rental home in the 2900 block of East Prospect Road, and York Area Regional Police raided that home on behalf of Delaware authorities, according to Sgt. Peter Montgomery, spokesman for York Area Regional Police.

As part of the search warrant, police seized Shover's wife's green 1999 Chevrolet Cavalier, which appears to be the same vehicle seen in surveillance video from Super Fresh the night Cappelli was bludgeoned to death, according to court documents.

York Area Regional officers found two shotguns in Shover's bedroom, which led them to charge Shover in York County with two counts of being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm, Montgomery said.

Those charges were later dropped when the U.S. Attorney's Office took over the case and moved it to federal court, records state. Federal testimony from Shover's wife indicated the guns belonged to her teenage son and Shover's teenage son, not to her husband, according to a transcript.

Prison time: As part of a plea agreement, Shover was eventually sentenced to time served, which was about 6½ months, records state.

In Shover's sentencing memorandum, his then-attorney, federal public defender Thomas Thornton, made reference to the raid on the Shovers' former home.

"No evidence of murder was found in the home," he wrote, and described the raid as "a wild goose chase."

The presiding federal judge who initially ordered Shover detained on the federal gun charges noted Shover has "an extensive prior (criminal) record marked by multiple instances of flight, failure to appear and failure to abide by conditions," according to court records.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at