A 44-year-old Department of Financial Institutions employee, Brian Cox, is accused in court papers of offering a co-worker $10,000 to find someone who would kill his wife so he could avoid paying her money in their divorce settlement.
According to court papers released Wednesday, the co-worker who was offered money in exchange for killing the man's wife went to Tumwater police in late May, before they had agreed on a dollar figure in the murder-for-hire plot. The man told police he came forward because "he didn't want it on his conscience if something happened" to her, court papers state.
Also according to court papers:
Tumwater Police Detective Jen Kolb received authorization to record a subsequent conversation between the suspect and the coworker, and on Tuesday, the two met at the DFI headquarters in Tumwater to discuss a price.
During a prior conversation, the coworker told police, the suspect said, "I have a $250,000 life insurance policy on my wife, and I'm willing to give you half if you make her disappear."
During the recorded conversation, the suspect told the coworker the life insurance policy that would have allowed him to pay $125,000 for his wife's death was no longer valid.
"See that's the thing," the suspect told the co-worker. "I still want the (expletive) dead and it's still worth ten grand to me because I'm going to be paying more than that in attorney's fees and to her. I'm going to be paying another twenty grand in fees so. Dude, we're talking about murder here man."
The suspect had "frisked" the co-worker prior to the conversation, but did not find a wire.
Kolb said Wednesday that the sophistication of the body wire made it difficult for the suspect to detect.
The witness who came forward to police had previously been worried about statements the suspect had made in the past, including about "flying his plane, which he has parked at the Olympia Airport, into the DFI building."
The witness told police he was surprised that the suspect approached him about giving him money to find someone to kill his wife, because the two did not get along. He said the suspect had spoken previously about having a "hit list" of fellow employees, and that he, the co-worker, had been told by the suspect he was on the list.
During the recorded conversation that led to the suspect's arrest during a traffic stop Tuesday, the witness had told the suspect he knew someone in Special Forces who could kill his wife.
The suspect was arrested Tuesday about 1 p.m. during a traffic stop in the roundabout on Harrison Avenue in West Olympia.
The suspect's court hearing is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in Thurston County Superior Court.
This story is developing. Check back at theolympian.com for updates.
Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445 jpawloski@theolympiancom