A Palm Beach County man has pleaded guilty to one count of hiring someone to murder someone else. The man admitted in open court that his original plan was to murder the woman and her husband in their home. At some point, the defendant met with an individual who agreed to perform the murders. They discussed how the murder was to be performed, including a requirement for a third person. The two drove by the victim’s home during which the defendant described precisely how he wanted the murders performed. The defendant wanted the hitman to spray paint BLM on the side of the home so that everyone believed that BLM had organized the hit. The defendant agreed to forgive a debt in exchange for the murder and to cover expenses related to the third party.
The defendant, a 51-year-old landscaper, was upset about being dumped by his 22-year-old girlfriend. He also had issues with the girlfriend’s sister and brother-in-law who he believed influenced the girl to cut the relationship off.
The prosecutors had recordings of the defendant instructing a hitman to “throw acid on her face”, beat her up, knock her teeth out, and break her nose, among other requests.
How did the police find the defendant?
A young woman with whom the defendant had contact told police that her friend was trying to train her to become an assassin. The woman was found dead of a drug overdose days later. She told police that there was a plot surrounding his ex-girlfriend. It is unclear whether or not they believed her story at the time.
After the girl died, a second individual close to the defendant made a similar claim and stated that the defendant’s targets were an ex-girlfriend, her sister, and her brother-in-law.
The defendant has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, which may not seem like enough for attempted murder. But the law views a failed contract hit as less deplorable than an attempt to kill someone yourself. Two other charges related to the murder-for-hire were dropped, including drug charges. The defendant also only paid a reported $400 of the money owed for the hit.
An attorney for the defendant described the amount of evidence against his client as “voluminous” and was able to negotiate a decent plea despite the evidence against him. That evidence included phone calls, witness testimony, and FBI statements related to the failed scheme. The defendant was quite lucky he was able to secure any plea at all. Had he faced charges on all counts, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 90 years.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged in a murder-for-hire scheme and left “voluminous” evidence in your wake, then you still need a qualified West Palm Beach criminal attorney to negotiate a fair plea on your behalf. Call The Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help.