9:38 AM EST, November 27, 2012
A beautiful Las Vegas cocktail waitress and mother is beaten to death with a hammer in her own home.
In a shocking twist, police say the victim's husband, George Tiaffay, a Las Vegas firefighter and West Point graduate, masterminded the gruesome attack.
The firefighter is accused of paying a homeless man, Noel Stevens, $600 dollars to beat his wife, Shauna Tiaffay to death.
The two men appeared in a Las Vegas courtroom to hear the charges against them.
Now the grief-stricken sister and friends of murder victim Shauna Tiaffay are coming forward. Dressed in matching sweaters with the word 'love,' they say George is not the heroic firefighter he appeared to be.
"To pay someone and put a dollar amount on someone's life. It's disgusting to me," said Shauna's friend.
"There are just no words," said the victim's sister, Paula.
"Their relationship has been trouble form the start. He was very verbally abusive to her," friends said.
At the time of Shauna's murder, she and her husband were separated but sharing custody of their adorable eight-year-old daughter, Maddy.
"I know how Shauna loved that little girl. That was her life. If Shauna stayed in this relationship, it was because of Maddy," said a friend.
Investigators say he called the homeless man a stunning 86 times on a cell phone in the month leading up to the attack.
According to an arrest report, the men were also recorded on surveillance tape at a Wal-Mart buying a hammer, gloves and a knife. George also allegedly gave the homeless man keys to his estranged wife's apartment where she was found bludgeoned to death.
When George learned he was a suspect, police say he tried to commit suicide by driving his speeding car into a wall.
"I'm just devastated by the whole thing. I don't understand why it had to come to this. Why they couldn't just get divorced," said Paula.
The firefighter's attorney issued this statement:
"George did not commit the crimes he is charged with. While all marriages have their ups and downs, George and Shauna were both committed to each other and especially their daughter."
Now, that little girl is forced to grow up without both parents after her mother was brutally murdered, and her firefighter father remains behind bars pending trial.