A Basehor man has been charged in federal court with attempting to pay a hit man $1,800 to murder his wife.
Lee D. Smith, 37, was charged Friday in the case and is scheduled to have his first court appearance in Kansas City federal court Monday on charges that he tried to hire a hit man to kill his wife, Lana R. Smith.
According to court records, officers were contacted May 9 by a confidential informant, who stated that Lee Smith contacted him and was willing to pay someone to kill his wife.
Lee Smith then drove the informant to his wife's work in Overland Park and allegedly showed him where his wife usually parks her car.
Lee Smith then allegedly provided other details to help the undercover hit man identify his wife. This included his wife's physical description and specific details about her vehicle. According to court records, Lee Smith suggested that the informant call out "Mrs. Smith" when he approached her in an attempt to get her to turn around.
Court records state that the "hit man" called Lee Smith on the next day and told Lee Smith that he had his wife and daughter.
That is when Lee Smith allegedly told the "hit man" to let his daughter go and to kill his wife. The agreed-upon price was $1,800. Court documents do not say how old the daughter is.
After making another call to Lee Smith, the informant told him that his daughter had been released and that his wife was dead. Lee Smith allegedly said he would only provide the money once he had heard from police. The informant balked at this and demanded the money.
Lee Smith and the informant allegedly agreed to meet at a grocery store that afternoon to exchange payment.
Authorities then contacted Lee Smith, telling him to come to police headquarters regarding his daughter being found. When he arrived, he was questioned and arrested.
According to court documents, Lee Smith allegedly confessed to hiring the man to kill his wife. He said he had paid the man $400 up front.
Court documents did not reveal a motive for the alleged plot, but Lee Smith and his wife have a court-documented history of financial difficulties.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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