In a shocking turn of events, Jerry Banks, a 35-year-old Colorado man, admitted his involvement in a brutal murder for hire scheme that claimed the life of a Vermont man in 2018. Banks pleaded guilty to murder for hire and kidnapping charges in Vermont U.S. District Court on Friday, June 9, 2023, and faces a possible life sentence.
According to prosecutors, Banks was part of an international conspiracy that targeted Gregory Davis, of Danville, Vermont, who had threatened to expose a fraudulent oil deal he had participated in with one of the co-conspirators, Serhat Gumrukcu, of Los Angeles. Gumrukcu allegedly hired Berk Eratay, who in turn recruited Aren Lee Ethridge and Banks to carry out the murder.
Davis was abducted by Banks and Ethridge on January 8, 2018, and driven to a remote location in Barnet, Vermont, where he was shot and left by the side of a snowy road. His body was discovered by a passerby later that day. Investigators spent more than four years tracing the links between the four suspects, who were arrested in 2022.
Gumrukcu and Eratay have pleaded not guilty to murder for hire charges and are awaiting trial. Ethridge pleaded guilty in July 2023 and is awaiting sentencing. Banks is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.