Man, woman charged in alleged murder for hire scheme in Fremont

A Sunnyvale woman and a Citrus Heights man have been charged in a murder-for-hire scheme which allegedly involved fatally shooting a man at his Fremont home in order to collect $800,000 in lifeinsurance benefits, Alameda County prosecutors said Thursday.

Maria Moore, 50, and Marvel Salvant, 46, were scheduled to be arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court in Dublin this afternoon for the shooting death of 56-year-old executive chef Dominic Sarkar while he was sleeping in his bed at the home he shared with a family in the 43000 block of Charleston Way on Oct. 8.

Moore, who told police she had an occasional sexual relationship with Sarkar, and Salvant are both charged with murder and the special circumstances of lying in wait and murder for financial gain, which means they could face the death penalty.

Salvant, who has two prior felony convictions, is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Fremont police Detective Brent Butcher wrote in a probable cause statement that officers who responded to the shooting found Sarkar shot multiple times in his bed but his room wasn't ransacked and no one else at the home was injured.

An extensive investigation by Fremont police established that Salvant fatally shot Sarkar and Moore had hired him to kill Sarkar to collect $800,000 in life insurance benefits, Butcher wrote.

Butcher wrote that video surveillance from the area showed a Subaru Outback circling Sarkar's residence before the murder and then parking two blocks from the house.

Eventually a man on a bicycle was seen riding a bicycle to the home, then returning back to the Subaru, according to Butcher.

Moore went to the Fremont Police Department on Oct. 9, the day after the shooting, and told investigators about her occasional sexual relationship with Sarkar and said she had visited him several hours before he was killed, Butcher wrote.

Moore admitted to being the beneficiary to Sarkar's life insurance policies but denied that she had given money to anyone recently, Butcher wrote.

The police investigation revealed that on Sept. 19, Moore wired $500 to Salvant through Western Union and investigators found cellphone records linking the two together through calls and texts, according to Butcher.

Cellphone records indicate that Salvant was in the area of Sarkar's home before, during and immediately after the murder, Butcher wrote.

Investigators conducted surveillance on Moore and Salvant and on Nov. 17, Salvant allegedly told someone that he would be coming into a large amount of money soon, Butcher wrote.

The probable cause statement says Salvant told that person, "I'm an evil person ... I committed a cardinal sin ... I already did it. So, ain't no turning back from here."

Butcher wrote that in a clandestine meeting in Redwood City on Nov. 15 that was observed and filmed by Fremont investigators, Salvant asked about getting his share of the insurance benefits and expressed frustration when he learned that he would not be paid before Thanksgiving.

Moore submitted forms on Nov. 22 asking to be paid the life insurance benefits but no benefits have been paid, according to Butcher.

Salvant and Moore were both arrested on Tuesday, Salvant in Folsom and Moore in Redwood City, according to police. The Alameda County District Attorney's Office filed charges against them on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Salvant was convicted of possession of cocaine for sale in Monterey County in 1992 and possession of a controlled substance of sale in federal court in Tennessee in 1995.