Morgan County deputies foil murder for hire plot

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VERSAILLES - The Morgan County Sheriff's Office said Friday it had stopped a murder for hire plot during an undercover investigation.

Chief Dep. Tony Wheatley said deputies arrested 25-year-old Nicholas Hartman and 32-year-old Patience Giersdorf, both from Houston, Texas, for attempting to negotiate the murder family member Christopher LeClair, Jr, after LeClair inherited land in southern Morgan County.

Deputies said they received information on February 6 about the potential plot. An undercover deputy met with Hartman and Giersdorf, who began negotiating the murder. The probable cause statement said the two offered the undercover deputy $10,000, along with jewelry, a silver coin and a car motor.

Deputies arrived, arrested Hartman and Giersdorf, and took them to the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.
On Thursday, Hartman and Giersdorf were charged with conspiracy to commit murder with bonds set at $500,000 each.

Chief Dep. Tony Wheatley said he can't remember the last time his agency investigated a murder for hire plot.
"I can't remember another time where we've actually arrested somebody on a murder for hire case," said Wheatley. "I've been here for 20 years, so I can't remember when."

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest information.)