Accused 'Craigslist Killer' Faces New Charges in Rhode Island

The medical student accused of murdering a masseuse he met on Craigslist in a Boston hotel was charged with holding a stripper at gunpoint in Rhode Island.

Philip Markoff was hit Monday in an arrest warrant with the new charges of intent to commit a robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a handgun and use of a firearm while committing a crime of violence, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch said.

The former Boston University med student is suspected of the attempted robbery of a stripper inside a Holiday Inn Express in Warwick on April 16.

Click here for photos.

An exotic dancer from Las Vegas who offered lap dances told Rhode Island authorities that she was bound with cord and held at gunpoint by a man she met through Craigslist, a classified advertising Web site. She said her assailant fled when her husband came up to the hotel room.

Warwick Police Col. Stephen M. McCartney declined to discuss specific details of the case during a news conference Monday afternoon, but a law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity previously told The Associated Press that investigators found Markoff's fingerprints in the hotel.

They also believe he sent text messages from there.

Police had earlier described the suspect as a tall white male with blond hair, which matches Markoff's description. Lynch said he had no doubt about the identity of the woman's attacker.

"It was Philip Markoff," Lynch said. "He will be brought to justice."

Markoff, 23, was arrested April 20 on Interstate 95 while driving with his fiancee to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

He was charged with the April 14 killing of Julissa Brisman, a 25-year-old New York City resident who advertised on Craigslist, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place hotel in the historic Back Bay district.

He has also been charged in a separate Boston hotel robbery of another masseuse police say he met through the site.

Click here for charges against Markoff. [FindLaw: Commonwealth v. Markoff]

Markoff has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer, John Salsberg, did not return a phone message Monday but has said his client is innocent and has his family's support.

Markoff has been placed on suicide watch at the Boston jail where he is being held. He has reportedly tried to take his life several times since his arrest.

"He will be brought to justice, but it may take some time to bring him to court in Rhode Island," Lynch said.

Because Markoff is a suspect in a homicide case in Boston, it could take six months to a year before he makes his first appearance in a Rhode Island courtroom, Lynch said.

But he said he was committed to prosecuting Markoff even if it could take a couple of years and even though Markoff faces life without the possibility of parole if convicted of murder in Massachusetts.

"You go forward because a community cries out for justice — justice for an act that takes place that merits a response," Lynch said.

Prosecutors could convene a grand jury to formally indict Markoff in the Warwick attack or press criminal charges directly against him.

The Rhode Island arrest warrant, signed by a Superior Court judge Monday morning, accuses Markoff of assault with intent to commit robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon, each of which carries a maximum of 20 years in prison upon conviction.

The warrant also includes counts of illegal possession of a handgun and using a firearm while committing a crime of violence, which have lesser punishments.

Markoff's fiancee, Megan McAllister, visited him in jail last week and has said she still loves and supports him but will be cooperating with prosecutors.

Her lawyer has said the couple's wedding, which had been scheduled for August, is being "dismantled."

Click here to read more on this story from's Michelle Maskaly and The Associated Press contributed to this report.