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Boyfriend, second man charged with first-degree murder in Tran killing

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The end of a couple’s relationship is believed to be the motive behind a murder-for-hire plot that was allegedly carried out a week ago, ending in the death of a 26-year-old Winnipeg woman.

Winnipeg police said this morning their investigation has led them to believe Drake Moslenko, 27, hired his friend, 20-year-old Treyvonne Willis, to kill Kaila Tran.

Moslenko and Willis are both charged with first-degree murder and are in custody at the Provincial Remand Centre.

Tran was attacked and stabbed on her way to her vehicle on the morning of June 20 in the parking lot of her Clayton Drive apartment in St. Vital. The young woman’s screams alerted neighbours, who witnessed the attack and saw a suspect run off towards the Seine River.

Witnesses said Moslenko was at the scene last week following the attack on Tran, holding her hand and sobbing.

Eight days before she was killed, Tran posted on her Facebook wall: "Happy Birthday to My Big Bear Drake! Hope you're having a great night with the boys," she wrote. It was the last written post she made before her death.

Police spokesman Const. Jason Michalyshen said Moslenko and Tran had been a couple for four years when they recently split up.

"The two had recently agreed to split and as a result... a dispute did erupt," he said.

Michalyshen said a witness came forward to allege Moslenko approached Willis — a mutal friend — and offered to pay him to kill Tran.

Moslenko is a former amateur baseball star and a budding rap artist who was involved in nightclub security.

Michalyshen said Moslenko and Willis were not involved in the local gang community but were known to be involved in illicit drugs. Court records show Willis was out on bail on a drug-dealing charge at the time of Tran's death.

The police underwater search and recovery unit believe they recovered the weapon used in the attack in the Seine River.

Michalyshen said murder-for-hire plots are rare but police are convinced this is what led to Tran’s death.

"The unique component of this (investigation) is just that," Michalyshen said. "It is unfortunate and incredibly tragic for Kaila and her family."

Michalyshen said at this point investigators do not believe other individuals were involved in the killing, but added the case remains under investigation.


Updated on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM CDT: Updated with details of charges.

12:17 PM: Adds quotes, details of relationship, images.

2:19 PM: corrects typo

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