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Cheryl L. GASPER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Murder for hire
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 3, 1994
Date of arrest: May 18, 2010 (16 years after)
Date of birth: September 8, 1962
Victim profile: Andie Gasper, 32 (her husband)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Cattaraugus County, New York, USA
Status: Pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on October 5, 2010. Sentenced to 18 years to life in prison on November 13, 2010

NY woman gets 18 years to life in husband's murder

By Carolyn Thompson -

November 15, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - An upstate New York woman who conspired with her lover to have her husband killed 16 years ago was sentenced Monday to 18 years to life in prison.

Cheryl Jenkins Gasper was sentenced in Cattaraugus County Court, where she pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in husband Andie Gasper's death.

The now 47-year-old woman thanked her three children for supporting her but did not apologize to her in-laws or the other dozen relatives in the courtroom, father-in-law Horace Gasper said later by phone from his Chaffee home.

Waiting 16 years for justice, he said, was a struggle.

"We watched due process finally happen in the courts," Horace Gasper said. "It's been a long time to get to this point."

Cheryl Gasper and beau Randall Knight, 56, were charged after cold-case investigators reopened the unsolved killing last year.

Knight had been an early suspect, but he was acquitted of murder at a 1995 trial. Andie Gasper and Knight were stationed together at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas, in the 1980s, when Cheryl Gasper and Knight became involved.

Authorities said Knight drove from Ohio to Yorkshire and lured Andie Gasper to a parking lot behind an Ames department store, where he stabbed him once in the chest inside Gasper's pickup truck.

Investigators said Knight and the victim's wife had planned to use proceeds from Andie Gasper's $100,000 life insurance policy to build a dream house together.

Knight pleaded guilty in July to a federal charge of crossing state lines for a murder-for-hire and was sentenced earlier this month to a 24-year prison term.

The insurance company never paid on the policy after determining Andie Gasper's signature had been forged, Horace Gasper said.

Cheryl Gasper testified against Knight at his county court murder trial but was not charged at the time. As part of his plea deal in the federal case, Knight agreed to testify against her.


Gasper pleads guilty in husband's murder

By Donna Snyder -

October 5, 2010

LITTLE VALLEY -- In a barely audible voice, Cheryl Gasper pleaded guilty in Cattaraugus County Court Tuesday to charges that she conspired with her ex-lover, Randall Knight, to kill her husband on July 4, 1994.

The 16-year-old cold case investigation led to the arrests of Gasper and Knight earlier this year in the stabbing death of Andie Gasper, 32, who was attacked in his truck behind the Ames Plaza in the Town of Yorkshire.

While facing nearly 10 minutes of questioning by Judge Larry M. Himelein, Gasper, 47, answered questions from the judge, who gleaned enough information to satisfy the guilty plea to second-degree murder.

She told Himelein that she had several conversations with Knight with the understanding that he would kill her husband, even telling him where her husband would be sitting in his truck.

At one point Himelein said he couldn't hear the defendant, who was standing directly in front of the judge.

Gasper agreed to waive her rights to an appeal and was assured the FBI would not prosecute her.

"She had a difficult time giving an [account] under oath." said her attorney, Public Defender Mark S. Williams. "She said enough so that the judge accepted her plea and the district attorney was satisfied."

Randall Knight, 56, of Ohio met the Gaspers while serving in the Air Force in Texas. Knight and Cheryl Gasper had an affair that lasted until 1993, just eight months before the husband's death.

Cheryl Gasper testified against Knight at his murder trial in 1995. However, a jury acquitted him and he case remained unsolved until last year, when investigators from the FBI and Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office reopened it.

Knight was arrested earlier this year in Ohio, where he had been living. He pleaded guilty to crossing state lines to commit murder.

Because he was acquitted 15 years ago, he could not be charged with murder a second time.

In his confession, Knight told investigators, "I killed Andie Gasper by stabbing [him] once in the chest. Cheryl told me she wanted me to kill Andie and she didn't care when or how."

Knight's admission was part of plea deal worked out by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Bruce and accepted by U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

On Tuesday, the courtroom was packed with members of Andie Gasper's family -- including his parents -- and Cheryl Gasper's family.

Cheryl Gasper faces sentencing Nov. 15. Under the plea deal, she faces 18 years to life in prison.

Outside the courtroom, Williams read a prepared statement from Cheryl Gasper:

"I regret that my involvement with Randall Knight has caused pain to my children and family. If it were not for their love and support I could have not made it through this ordeal."

Knight, who is in federal custody, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 3 to 20 to 30 years in a federal prison.


Woman Charged in 1994 Murder of Husband in Catt. County

May 19, 2010

LITTLE VALLEY - The Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office reported that an arrest has been made in a cold case murder that happened in 1994.

Cheryl L. Gasper, 47, of 3835 Forks Road, Chaffee, N.Y., was charged Monday with second-degree murder for allegedly killing her husband at the time, Andie Gasper, on July 3, 1994.

Andie Gasper was found dead with stab wounds while seat belted in his pickup truck behind the old Ames department store on Route 16 in the town of Yorkshire. He was 32 years old at the time.

Randall A. Knight, a Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio resident and reportedly a friend of the victim's, was charged and acquitted of the murder in the 1990s. At a press conference this week, Cattaraugus County District Attorney Lori Rieman described Knight as an accomplice and said that a federal investigation is ongoing.

The case was brought to a grand jury after a thorough investigation contributed to by the Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit, FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office and the Cattaraugus County District Attorney's Office.

Cheryl Gasper pleaded not guilty at arraignment in front of Cattaraugus County Judge Larry Himelein and was remanded to the Cattaraugus County Jail where she is being held without bail.

The investigation is ongoing and according to police, is looking for possible violations of Federal Law, such as a murder for hire plot, which may have occurred.


Gasper charged with husband's murder

By Rick Miller -

May 18, 2010

LITTLE VALLEY - Cheryl Gasper, widow of murder victim Andie K. Gasper, was arrested Monday morning on a charge of second-degree murder in connection with his stabbing death in Yorkshire nearly 16 years ago.

Cheryl Gasper, 47, who was indicted by a Cattaraugus County grand jury based on new evidence developed by the Cold Case Unit of the Sheriff’s Office and the FBI, pleaded innocent to the second-degree murder charge before County Court Judge Larry M. Himelein. Public Defender Mark S. Williams was appointed to represent her.

Cheryl Gasper’s former lover, Randall Knight, 57, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, who was a former Air Force buddy of Mr. Gasper, was acquitted of second-degree murder in his death in 1995. Then District Attorney Michael P. Nevins prosecuted that case.

Federal authorities are considering filing other charges against Knight in what they call a murder-for-hire case.

Mr. Gasper’s parents and other family members who continued to press the Sheriff’s Office for justice in the case, attended a press conference at the County Center here, where Cheryl Gasper’s arrest was announced.

Mr. Gasper’s father, Horace Gasper of Chaffee, said Cheryl Gasper’s arrest was evidence of “the power of prayer. It doesn’t ever stop. We trusted the Cold Case Unit. They did a fantastic job and we are proud of them.”  He thanked Andie’s friends around the country for their continuing prayers that his killer would someday be brought to justice.

In announcing the arrest, District Attorney Lori P. Rieman called Knight Gasper’s accomplice in her husband’s murder.

“We have been able, through the work of the FBI and the Cattaraugus County Sheriff’s Department, to obtain a case against Cheryl Gasper. She is now in the county jail for the murder of her husband, Andie Gasper,” in 1994.

“It never went away,” Mrs. Rieman said of the case. “The family continued to seek justice. With luck and hard work they (investigators) were able to do it.”

A key element in the investigation was “they were able to discredit some of the things Cheryl Gasper told the Sheriff’s Department,” she said.

 Without being specific, the district attorney indicated Mr. Gasper’s death involved life insurance and the promise of payment. Mr. Gasper was 32 at the time of his death.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, who attended the press conference along with Steven Lanser, assistant special agent in charge of the Buffalo FBI Office, and other FBI agents, praised the efforts of the Sheriff’s Department, district attorney and FBI.

Mr. Hochul said “additional charges in the case will be brought as the evidence supports.” He said potential federal charges being looked at in the case involve murder for hire and interstate commerce statutes. “Our hearts go out to the (Andie Gasper) family.”

Since the statute of limitations has expired for all state charges except murder, and Knight was acquitted by a jury on the second-degree murder charge, District Attorney Rieman said she was limited in what Gasper could be charged with.

The district attorney said that while Cheryl Gasper did not stab her husband through the heart, “She made it happen. She set the stage for someone (else) to do it.” Mrs. Rieman said Cheryl Gasper’s lies to the police and during the trial resulted in Knight’s acquittal.

Sheriff Timothy Whitcomb credited the Cold Case Unit, established by former Sheriff Dennis B. John, and its “meticulous approach to the investigation.”

It was Undersheriff William Nichols, a former member of the Cold Case Unit, who first suggested involving the FBI. Mr. Nichols was first involved in the case in 1995, assisting in the initial investigation along with former Sheriff Jerry Burrell and investigators Dennis John and Ernest Travis.

When he became chief of detectives in 2002, Mr. Nichols said he got a call from the Gasper family asking him to take another look at the case. “I pulled the file off the shelf. When I retired in 2004, it went back on the shelf.”

In late 2005, Mr. Nichols became a member of the Cold Case Unit along with Michael Malek, a former district attorney’s investigator who worked the initial case, and former State Police investigator Thomas Stoffer. “I got another call” from the family and the trio “reviewed the entire case for anything we may have overlooked.”

More recently, Mr. Nichols realized there may have been some federal violations. They then met in February 2009 with the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office to outline the case.

“It was good, old-time policework” that led to Cheryl Gasper’s arrest, Mr. Nichols said. There was no DNA or anything.”

“I feel good for the family,” Mr. Nichols said. “It’s only partially done. I’ll feel better when it’s done 100 percent."


Cheryl Gasper


The victim

Andie Gasper, 32.



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