Murder for Hire Plot Busted - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Butler County, MO

Murder for Hire Plot Busted

Murder for Hire Plot Busted
By: CJ Cassidy

BUTLER COUNTY, Mo. - A Butler County man in jail on assault charges, finds himself in more trouble now.

He now faces conspiracy charges to commit murder.

Investigators say 52-year-old Walter Lee Smith, Jr. tried to hire another inmate at the Butler County Jail to kill someone.

Police say that inmate spilled the beans and worked with them to make sure investigators had evidence of Smith's plot.

In the meantime, the man Smith allegedly tried to kill says he's still afraid for his life.

"I was hurting. I was scared. I knew what kind of man he is," Mark Sullivan said. He says this isn't the first time Walter Smith's tried to kill him.

Smith initially found himself in jail on assault charges for allegedly attacking Sullivan with a knife back in November.

Sullivan claims Smith didn't want him dating his daughter.

"For what he did to me he should be put away for the rest of his life," he said.

The Butler County Jail warns inmates about concealed weapons, but police say that didn't stop Smith from plotting to murder Sullivan inside a cell pod.  He allegedly tried to hire his cell mate to carry out the killing when he got out.

"He says I need Mark Sullivan taken out. He says why? Smith says - there's a pending assault case on me. He's the victim. No victim, no crime," Detective Corey Mitchell explained.  

He says Smith drew out a map for the inmate, detailing Sullivan's route to and from work and then made a down payment on the promised fee of $1000.

"You'd be surprised what they pay," Mitchell said.

But no one's more surprised or shocked than Mark Sullivan.

"I'll try to live through it. Get over it. I'm still frightened about it, but I want to live a happy life," Sullivan said.

He says he has no plans to move, but he has no intention of breaking up with Smith's daughter either.

Meanwhile, Smith refused to comment.  He's being held on one million dollars cash only bond.

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