Authorities said a man in Washington state typed out a text message about a plan to hire someone to kill his wife and their 4-year-old daughter - but it was mistakenly sent to his former boss, not a hit man.
Jeffery Scott Lytle, 42, was arrested early last week in Monroe, Washington, on suspicion of planning a murder-for-hire after Snohomish County sheriff's deputies were alerted to a chilling text message sent from Lytle's phone and addressed to someone named "Shayne." But the message, which detailed Lytle's apparent intent to have his family killed, was erroneously sent to his former boss, police said.
"Hey Shayne hows it going," Lytle wrote, according to a probable cause statement. "You remember you said that you would help me kill my wife. I'm going to take you up on that offer."
It's not clear whether Lytle has an attorney.
Lytle wrote in the text message that he would split his wife's life insurance payout, which he said was worth $1 million. If the hit man wanted a bonus, Lytle wrote, he could also kill the 4-year-old girl, whose policy was worth $500,000.
"I go to work 5 in the morning," Lytle wrote, according to court records. He reportedly added that his wife "goes to work at 2:00pm so if you can make a robbery gone wrong or make it a accident she works at walmart she gets off at 11:00."
"I'll split everything with the insurance 50/50," he said.
Lytle was arrested last week and charged with two counts of felony criminal solicitation for the crime of murder in the first degree, according to the court records.
Authorities said Lytle first denied communicating with anyone about a plan to kill his wife and child but later admitted that he had written the message as a way to "vent" during an argument he had with his wife about his talking with another woman, according to the court documents. He told investigators that he had saved the message on his phone and that his daughter must have sent it, police said.
Lytle also denied knowing anyone named "Shayne," saying it was "just a name" he used when he wanted to "vent," according to the court documents.
He told police that he often expresses his frustrations in text messages and then deletes them but had no intention of hurting his wife and daughter.
Debbie Willis, a public information officer for the Monroe Police Department, which is investigating the incident, said Tuesday that investigators have not found an insurance policy on anybody in the family.
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