Old Time Crime: Spending spree leads to arrests of armored car murder suspects in 1994

Armored car murder suspects arrested in 1994
Posted at 6:07 AM, Nov 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-26 08:19:30-05

A trio of former crime fighters turn to a life of murder and theft as they execute an armored car driver and get away with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Crime:

It was November 28, 1994, when Wells Fargo armored car driver 54-year-old John Magoch was sitting in his van at the Arrowhead Towne Center in Glendale as his partner was collecting a deposit.

His door was slightly ajar as he was having a smoke, while he waited. This decision proved to be a fatal one as he was shot in the head with a rifle.

The suspects stole somewhere between $500,000 and $1 Million

Another suspect, later identified as James Harold Greenham, jumped in the van, pushed Magoch away and drove to a church parking lot in Sun City. The van and the deceased Magoch were found later by churchgoers, who showed up to play bingo.

The suspects stole somewhere between $500,000 and $1 million.

Investigators would later learn that the three used two-way radios to communicate with each other. 

William Elwood Ferguson served as a lookout as Greenham waited near the van. Timothy Stuart Ring positioned himself about 40 yards away with a high-powered rifle and scope. When Magoch opened the door, Ring fired, shooting him in the head. When Greenham entered the van, the victim was still alive.

After ditching the van, the three hooked up and traveled to Prescott before returning to the Valley. They disposed of Magoch's gun by throwing it into a lake.

The Suspects:

Timothy Ring was considered to be the leader of the trio. Ring's prior employment served as a training ground for the assault and theft. He was previously employed by an armored car company. He was also a former police officer and a detention officer. His former police chief described Ring as "conniving and a frequent liar." He said Ring was fired when he refused to respond to a murder scene, choosing instead to engage in a high-speed chase.

James Harold Greenham was also a former detention officer and assisted Ring as a bounty hunter for bond agencies.

William Elwood Ferguson was also a former police officer.

The Spending Spree:

Neighbors saw many 'new toys'

Multiple neighbors saw many 'new toys' bought by Ring and Greenham including new trucks, motorcycles, ATV's, boats, electronics, SCUBA equipment, jewelry and high-dollar weapons.

Police would also later find $270,000 in cash during a search of Ring's home in North Phoenix. All three of the men were said to have given away thousands of dollars of diamond jewelry to exotic dancers.

Arrests Made:

After months of investigating, police caught a break when a convicted federal felon came forward with information saying he assisted Greenham and Ring with surveillance of armored cars and the driving habits of drivers. This information would lead to wiretaps and monitoring of the men, culminating in arrests on February 16, 1995.

Glendale detectives at the time believed Ring and Greenham might have been planning another crime in Northern Arizona, as wiretapped conversations alluded to "a plan up North."

Tim pulled the trigger

When Greenham was arrested, he cooperated with police, taking them to the lake where divers recovered the victim’s gun, and police found burned remnants of other evidence nearby. Greenham told police how it was Ring who planned the robbery and fired the fatal shot. He told investigators, "Tim pulled the trigger. It was supposed to be a wounding shot." He considered himself coerced into the scheme, saying Ring threatened his family.

Ring always pronounced his innocence saying, "I know they got the wrong guy."

Where are they now?

Timothy Stuart Ring was given a life sentence and remains in prison.

William Elwood Ferguson was given 16 years in prison and was released in May of 2013.

James Harold Greenham was sentenced to 27 years.