Murder of Erik Poltorak by Michael Thomas profiled on Snapped

Police tape

Snapped is investigating the brutal murder of Erik Poltorak, who was gunned down with a 12-gauge shotgun on his front step in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, California, on Halloween night, 2012.

The killer was Allen Williams, but he was working at the behest of Michael Thomas, a career criminal who orchestrated the murder of 42-year-old Poltorak from behind bars.

In 2012, Thomas had conducted a home invasion in Poltorak’s house and was later arrested. He was languishing in jail, and Poltorak was all set to testify against him.

From the jailhouse, Thomas contacted Williams by phone, asking him, “You about ready to put in some work?” Williams responded, “Yeah, what’s up?” Thomas then told Williams to contact his accomplice, Yvonne Keith, to arrange the details of killing their victim. The prison call was recorded.

The police believe Keith and Williams then organized the murder of Poltorak with the help of another individual, Thomas’s niece, Jessicha Thomas.

On October 31, 2012, Willams shot Poltorak in the head and the face. The victim was found by a colleague who suggested Thomas was the killer during the 911 emergency call. She told the 911 dispatcher, “I’m sure he did it, he did it.”

Allen Williams wore Halloween costume to kill Erik Poltorak

The shotgun was later found at Venice Beach. A surveillance camera at the murder scene showed the killer wearing a costume, which complicated the investigation as it was Halloween night.

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Williams confessed to a police informant that he had committed a murder for a “homeboy,” and in another phone call with Thomas, he confirmed he had completed the “hit.”

When the police finally zeroed in on Williams, Keith, and Jessicha they found Keith to be particularly cooperative. Jessicha Thomas soon also agreed to testify against Thomas.

Thomas had a lengthy criminal record that included multiple instances of threatening behavior and violence. The prosecution insisted that he had manipulated Williams, Keith, and Jessicha Thomas into killing his victim.

Michael Thomas sentenced to death for Erik Poltorak murder

In Fall 2017, Michael Thomas was found guilty of murder, and a jury recommended that he be sentenced to death. The killer asked his legal team not to fight against the death penalty. He is currently on death row.

Allen Williams and Yvonne Keith were both charged with murder and are serving life sentences without the chance of parole. Jessicha Thomas was convicted of second-degree murder.

Poltorak left behind a nine-year-old autistic daughter, who, according to the prosecutors, was deeply traumatized by her father’s murder.

Snapped airs at 6/5c on Oxygen.

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