“He owes me,” Darin Starr said of brother following their murder arrests

Lilani Mahler testified she took money from Jason Starr and gave it to his brother Darin, and prosecutors say he was given that money to kill Jason's ex-wife.
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 2:04 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WTVY) - The woman prosecutors said handled financial arrangements in a murder-for-hire scheme said she had received the motorcycle allegedly used in the murder plot from a man who wrecked it.

Liliana Mahler testified in the trial of brothers Jason and Darin Starr, accused of conspiring to kill Jason’s former wife, fourth-grade Enterprise school teacher Sara Starr, in 2017.

The motorcycle is paramount in the trial because Department of Justice prosecutors believe that Jason Starr purchased the 2016 Triumph from Mahler for his brother, who investigators believe rode it to Alabama to ambush Sara Starr.

She said the motorcycle crash victim gave it to her because he did not want to bother with it and desired no police investigation into the single-vehicle wreck.

“Today is your lucky day,” Mahler said she told Darin Starr when he expressed interest in the bike. She agreed to sell Starr the motorcycle for $300, but only after working out arrangements in a phone call with Jason.

According to her testimony, Darin Starr did not have sufficient cash to pay for the bike, so he had Mahler talk to his brother, Jason—a retired military officer with several thousand a month of income.

Jason Starr agreed to send her the money via Zelle, a cash application connected to his bank account.

However, prosecutors believe the payment was the first of several he funneled through Mahler to persuade Darin to kill his wife, to whom a court order said he must pay $3,400 to provide financial assistance to her and the couple’s two sets of twins.

A series of Zelle payments from Jason to Mahler was supposed to be for repairs, but allegations are they paid his brother to kill his former sister-in-law.

Defense attorneys did not cross-examine the witness, with Jim Parkman telling the judge they changed their minds during Thursday’s lunch break.

In other testimony, an FBI agent testified that following his arrest, Darin Starr phoned acquaintances, asking them to contact his brother to help arrange a bond because “Jason had money set aside for Darin.”

In one of the phone calls, Darin told his mother he could not tell her why, but Jason had money set aside for him.

Jurors saw a video from an Enterprise restaurant proving that Jason Starr ate breakfast with his children when his former wife died from two shotgun blasts at her home about eight miles away.

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