Stripper pleads guilty in millionaire’s murder

Brandi Hunderford | Kimerer & Derrick

By BETH DeFALCo
Associated Press Writer

PHOENIX – A Stripper who admitted luring a millionaire auto glass entrepreneur to a Phoenix-area hotel where her boyfriend robbed and shot him pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Tuesday.

Brandi L. Hungerford originally faced a first-degree murder charge in the death of Rick Chance, former owner of Empire Glass.

Chance’s body was found Aug. 9 in a hotel room in Tempe, a suburb east of Phoenix.

 The 44-year-old millionaire who lived in a Paradise Valley mansion was known in Colorado and several other states as a TV pitchman for the auto glass company who gave away dinners to customers when they bought new windshields.

A hotel video camera filmed Hungerford the day before checking in with Chance, who was seen holding a briefcase containing a reported $1 million in jewels and watches.

Hungerford won’t be sentenced until after she testifies at the trial of Robert Donald Lemke, according to terms of her plea agreement.

Lemke, 24, was already in custody in Washington state on an unrelated weapons violation when he was charged in Chance’s death by Arizona prosecutors last week.

Hungerford, 26, was arrested Aug. 16 in Tacoma, Wash. — where she was found along with Lemke after the killing and indicted six days later.

But Hungerford cooperated with authorities and cut a deal in exchange for testifying against Lemke, who prosecutors suspect was the triggerman.

Hungerford’s attorney, Clark Derrick, said a first-degree murder charge filed against Lemke in the Chance case was largely due to what his client had told authorities.

 “Her intention from day one was to cooperate with police,” said Derrick, adding that Hungerford was “extremely remorseful” and that’s why she decided to come clean about the murder.

Hungerford also pleaded guilty to robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Under the agreement, she will serve all her sentences concurrently and faces anywhere from 10 to 22 years in prison.

— Arizona Daily Sun

Posted on May 5, 2002 in Press

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