Controversial dark web researcher to testify in SLO murder-for-hire trial

A San Luis Obispo judge ruled Wednesday that a London resident and dark web user, who is the key witness in a murder-for-hire case that is expected to soon go to trial, will be allowed to testify in court. 

Beau Brigham, a 33-year-old Riverside man, allegedly used the dark web to hire a hit on his stepmother for $3.50 and then canceled the hit. Nonetheless, Brigham is charged with a single felony count of solicitation of murder, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

Chris Monteiro, a self-described cybercrime researcher and expert on the dark web, brought the allegation that Brigham tried to hire a hitman to kill his stepmother to the CBS program 48 Hours, which ran a segment on the case. CBS forwarded the allegations to the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office, which is now prosecuting the case.

Brigham’s father died in 2011. In 2015, Brigham and his brother, Brandon, sued their stepmother for taking part of their inheritance and won a large judgement against her.

At a preliminary hearing earlier this year, a San Luis Obispo detective testified that the woman said she was in debt to the Brigham brothers for more than $1 million. She claimed, though, that if she died, the brothers would immediately received dividends from a trust account. 

During a pre-trial hearing on Wednesday, Monteiro testified that he hacked into a dark web site that contained posts related to murder-for-hire plots and that a murder actually occurred in Minnesota following an unsuccessful solicitation on the website. Monteiro claims it was on this website where he discovered the hit Brigham allegedly placed on his stepmother.

Ilan Funke-Bilu, Brigham’s attorney, argued during the pretrial hearing that Monteiro committed illegal acts in order to obtain the information he passed on to media and prosecutors. Funke-Bilu questioned Monteiro’s credibility and expertise on the cybercrime.

In response to Funke-Bilu’s questioning, Monteiro admitted to making child pornography, as well as to being arrested by British police for solicitation of mass murder connected to the dark web site he was using. Monteiro testified that he was framed for murder as retaliation for his investigative work.

Following the testimony, Judge Jesse Marino ruled much of the evidence Monteiro delivered to prosecutors can be included in the trial. Marino decided to exclude messages gathered by Monteiro that are copies, rather than originals.

Marino previously stated he has concerns about the genesis of the case involving Monteiro, a crusading hacker from London. Marino placed a gag order on the case, barring the prosecution and the defense from speaking with the media about the trial. 

The case had been delayed as Monteiro reportedly struggled to obtain a visa to enter the United States and encountered legal issues while doing so. In order to bring Monteiro to the United States, the prosecution granted him immunity from prosecution for any criminal actions related to the case including perjury.

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5 Comments about “Controversial dark web researcher to testify in SLO murder-for-hire trial”

  1. Jennie says:

    After seeing this alleged “Cyber Crime Expert” testify or rather give his wannabe version as he was given immunity for his criminal actions, he is an admitted liar, failed college, failed to even pass a simple online course.

    Some of the juror’s like most of us were bored at the waste of time, laziness of the process, but mostly the back story. This Chris Monteiro is a convict, in to child pornography , an admitted criminal hacker, uses numerous alias on the web.

    So it is costing the US taxpayer over $ 2,235.00 per day, the flights, food, booze, hotels, moving him around under two highly paid law enforcement men and women not to mention his need for mental health medications and observations 24/7.

    According to no less than 6 Agencies several in the USA others in England and other parts of Europe. Why is this non sense case even being done ? not one piece of any evidence has been shown. The mans computers, phones are all seized by Authorities as they contain illegal photos of children, lewd and lascivious acts, so the DA never ever even did a forensics evaluation of these devices.

    This is Prosecution Misconduct


    DA needs to refund the taxpayers

  2. Cathy says:

    This case is the laughing stock of the entire court room, the DA is using a man named Chris Monteiro a CONVICTED Child Porn, registered Sex offender, a criminal hacker, a person who has Zero experience and education in the computer forensics fields.

    The DA failed to produce one piece of any evidence as the real Perp. is Chris left everything at home in London and the London Police have all his computers, cell phones and Ipads ?

    WTF, so now the truth is trickling out that the case is all a “Joke” and we the taxpayers are the clowns for allowing this to happen….

  3. Fred says:

    Today was a shocker of the rule of law, to say Christoper Monteiro is an expert is a massive stretch of the truth and facts along with the rule of Law. I get it as he said he is a new judge, apparently he has yet to attend the Judicial College to learn the facts of being a Judge and the rule of law.

    I remember he was against Tim Covello for DA and supported Dan Dow so that may be why he is making some misguided rulings that will certainly get appealed to the 2nd DCA, if this case ever does get to a trial and a verdict other than NOT Guilty is handed down.

    To say a admitted Liar, Perjurer, Con-man, criminal of hacking, credit card fraud, extortion and child porn is a viable and credible witness is way off the cliff of running with the Bulls. The guy is uneducated not a expert at anything but Porn and Hacking, the Judge needs to be trained as a Judge and not a puppet of his former boss the DA.

    No wonder why the DA’s office has lost so many cases with the ruling of the bench as it is today. At least two Jurors i know are on the case and no doubt will question every move the judge makes, glad to know the one juror who is friends with the JUDGE IS OFF THE CASE.

    She was honest and admitted she and her kids and the judges kids are all friends. ?????

  4. Larry Sinclair says:

    Unable to go into too much details, but this case is a total “Scam” perpetrated on our Justice System, the District Attorney himself who wants publicity, the Defendant who is being “Played”
    never should have been arrested at all.

    Take Note our DA is the only person who uses a Convicted Hacker, Perjurer, Con-Man, who loves young underage minors naked for photos, his past in England is well known. The Guardian and BBC have said he has scammed them on his grand delusions. He failed all coursed in school and online could not even pass a simple test for computer knowledge.

    The ” Witness” who is living on our dime enjoying himself, in our community at our expense, he was out drinking in Avila Beach , and two Pubs downtown so much for his two hired cops for 24/7 protection both are SLO PD cops who were involved in some misconduct on other cases.

    Read some of this so called ” Faked” expert, he admits on his own site he is an amateur sleuth, a amateur cyber crime analyst , with no valid credentials two Universities have concluded he is a unhinged person seeking personal attention that he is a great “SPY” to uncover the evil doings of the “Dark” Net and Web.

    He claims he can see the future, read your palms, see beyond the Universe, a Trans-humanism, he thinks he can see into the minds of people to predict the future of Mankind’s “Mind” if your a real researcher you can see the past 4 years of his postings and the many names he uses and says he got entrapment, Framed, it is not his fault he likes young boys, naked photos of Children, and Bestiality .

    As one PhD who was watching his comments, statements, his personality on the stand last week did a quick assessment that he is Bi-Polar, Hyper Sensitive to being challenged mentally, then to top it off, he would not come to the United States unless he got $ Money, Media Attention, Free Flights, Free Hotels, Free Transportation, witness fees as a so called expert and most of all.

    100% Immunity from ALL CRIMINAL ACTS HE HAS ADMITTED DOING INCLUDING CHILD PORN ! This prankster is the best our DA could find in his pursuit of a mentally ill young man who did not violate any laws, colleges will be attending the trail especially as several of the Jurors summed it up to appear and be challenged, many want to be on the Juror thinking it will be big media, as CBS 48 Hours got snookered into the fake story they ran.

    This is NOT a Michael Jackson or O.J Simpson trial it is a shame..When Chris Monteiro was asked to submit to a Polygraph exam he declined Vehemently, the Judge admitted he is new and this is the first case of this type so he would be lenient in giving the prosecutor a broad opening to prove his case even if the alleged testimony can not be verified as true or coming from factual records.

    The Judicial “GAG Order was a totally a botched failure….

  5. Pete M. says:

    This case has been a bizarre matter since day one, first the alleged suspect is a injured ill person, why didn’t any Law Enforcement do a thing ? the FBI, State Attorney General’s , Office, Interpol, New Scotland Yard, Sheriff’s Office in three counties with jurisdiction ?

    Because this fake Chris Monteiro aka “Yura” is a phony, he posted and tweeted from inside the court room yesterday to his own blog site to say, Orange Jump Suits every where ? a lie he was not in a court room that had any one but the media, Judge, DA, Defense Lawyers and a few spectators. He was taking photos in the court room while in recess and not one person did anything so much for judicial orders.

    This uneducated fake “Cyber Crime” self described Expert has NO degrees, matter of fact he failed College twice, failed the University twice was finally kicked out, then he tired to get a online Cyber/Internet Crime Certificate and guess what ? Yep he could not even pass a free online course he failed again and again. He is a Known Pedophile , FBI removed his site for hacking and making false statements in the UK and USA, then a desperate DA gives him blanket immunity from all crimes he admitted under oath as having committed, from Child Porn, to illicit hacking, evidence tampering.

    Immunity from PERJURY ? so why even have a known Criminal a know liar, criminal with children and once a man who wanted to see Mass Murder, then he says the BESA Mafia framed him., News Folks he Chris has played his game long enough he is an admitted liar, sexual deviant, publicity hound, he has NO real Job as a Computer Security in London or anywhere he is a fake. To top it all off he tells the DA he will only tell what the DA wants him to say if he gets 24/7 Armed Police, we the taxpayer pay for, Hotel, Flights, food , Drinks, gets paid $$ and more….

    He is an admitted “Trans-humanism”, “Sadomasochist”, “Sysadmin” “Devil Worshiper” , a debunked informant with 0 -Zero Credibility, a quick check his background shows a deeply mistrusted individual with Maladjusted Behavioral issues , Maladaptive Behavioral and personal issues.

    His diagnosed by several professionals shows he is a DSM-IV candidate with many personalities and believes as he has posted on the many self made blog sites he came to America to stop crime starting in San Luis Obispo. He is not nor ever has been any expert in anything he admitted is was caught on a Pedophile site with pictures of him and children .

    That to me says it all, the Jury Pool is already tainted as a few said ” This is a big Murder Case “,’Oh this is the case that was on TV maybe we can get on the Jury and sell our notes ”

    Folks calm down this is NOT a murder case, and you do not keep the notes you take the Court does. Also you all should not be talking about this at lunch times, naughty we all listened to your ramblings.

    I do not know how a know criminal, pedophile, non educated, admitted liar, criminal hacker etc can ever be trusted or believed on anything, so enjoy your USA Tax Payer paid Vacation in the Central Coast.

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