Inmate Hires Hitman to Kill Past Victims: Cops

A Berks County Jail inmate is accused of hiring a hitman to kill the victims of his previous crimes.

A Berks County Jail inmate is accused of hiring a hitman to kill the victims of his previous crimes.
Back on January 19, detectives first began investigating Christopher Yingling, 42, after receiving a report from a 14-year-old girl claiming he physically and sexually abused her.

Christopher Yingling, Credit: Berks County D.A.

The girl told detectives Yingling punched her in the nose, causing a fracture, in June of 2011 on the 500 block of West 2nd Street in Birdsboro. Investigators also say Yingling was the boyfriend of the girl’s mother and lived with the girl and her family for around 10 years. The girl told police Yingling abused her several times between June 1, 2011 and December 27, 2011. The girl claimed Yingling took photographs of her naked body with a cell phone and sent those pictures to other people. Yingling also allegedly sexually assaulted and raped the girl. Finally, the girl accused Yingling of forcing her to call his friends and offer sexual acts in exchange for money.

On December 27, 2011, police say the girl and her siblings moved from their mother’s home to live with Glen Russell, their biological father. On January 24, police say Yingling shot Russell at the Spring Commons Business Complex in Spring Township. He was arrested and charged in that shooting and taken to Berks County Prison.

On May 16, detectives from the Berks County District Attorney’s Child Abuse Unit filed criminal charges against Yingling for the physical and sexual abuse of the teen girl. He was arraigned on those charges on May 17 with bail set at $200,000 and recommitted to Berks County Prison.

The trouble for Yingling didn’t end there however. On May 22, Berks County Detectives began investigating Yingling after receiving new information from officials of the Berks County Jail System. Detectives say Yingling solicited another inmate to assist in the killings of the 14-year-old girl, Glenn Russell, other members of his family and key witnesses of his previous crimes.

During their investigation, detectives say they intercepted phone conversations and a handwritten note from Yingling. Investigators say the note was a solicitation by Yingling with instructions for a hitman to meet his brother Brian Yingling. The note instructed his brother to supply the hit man with a 20-gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun and a Chevrolet pick-up, according to detectives.

On June 8, detectives obtained a search warrant and searched Brian Yingling’s home in Birdsboro. During the search, police say they seized two guns, including the Mossberg. Detectives then arrested Christopher Yingling on Monday. He was charged with criminal solicitation to commit murder of the first degree. His bail was set at $500,000.

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