CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A source close to the investigation of the 2003 Kanawha County sniper-style slayings confirmed last week that Shawn Thomas Lester, the man believed to be responsible for the three homicides, is also suspected in the death of a fourth man who reportedly had inside knowledge of the crime.
Timothy Wayne Sigman, 33, whose remains were found buried under the porch of a home in Willard, Ky., was close friends with Lester and lived with him around the time of the shootings in 2003, according to Bobby Walker, the brother in law of Jeanie Patton, who was the second of the three victims.
Walker said that Sigman and Lester, whom he had hired to do mechanical work for his used car business, were heavily involved in a multimillion-dollar cross-state drug ring owned by members of the Mexican mafia. Sigman also played a part in the sniper slayings, Walker said, but his exact role in the crime remains unclear.
"They were best friends," Walker told the Gazette. "They lived together, they breathed together; they pulled this off together."
On Friday, a Kanawha County judge sentenced Lester to 40 years in prison after he pleaded guilty in late July to second-degree murder charges linked to the death of Patton.
As part of the plea, he was not required to admit to the murders of Gary Carrier Jr., and Okey Meadows Jr., who were killed outside of separate gas stations on different days by a .22 Magnum Marlin rifle.
Prosecutors say Lester killed Patton in retaliation for the theft of an engine block that was packed with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of rare pink methamphetamine and hidden in Lester's Rutledge Road car garage.
Walker's brother, Marty, was married to Patton and was reportedly responsible for the theft of the drug-laden engine. When Lester and Sigman found out, they vowed to take revenge by killing Patton, Bobby Walker said.
"They told me they were going to kill Jeanie for [the theft of] the motor," he said. Walker knew that Lester and Sigman were angry about the theft of the motor, but did not think they were serious about killing anyone. He didn't put two and two together until after Patton was murdered.
Walker said that because they were his employees, and because his brother was friends with the duo, he interacted with Lester and Sigman regularly. In early 2003, Lester and Sigman stopped working for Walker, and rented a car garage on Rutledge road across from Walker's used car lot.
Walker had no idea that they were using the garage as a front to a drug operation. He moved away from the area in 2004.
In January 2007, Randal Sigman appeared as a guest on an episode of the crime-solving show "West Virginia's Most Wanted" to discuss a theory that the show's host, Andrew Palmer, had formulated about his missing son, Timmy.