Johnson County inmate accused of trying to hire a hit man

Posted Wednesday, Jan. 09, 2013  Print Reprints

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A Johnson County jail inmate faces fresh charges after sheriff's officials say he tried to hire a hit man to kill his estranged wife and her male friend while behind bars, never suspecting that the man he was negotiating with was actually Sheriff Bob Alford.

Tab Johnson, 52, had been in jail, accused of violating a protective order and stalking his estranged wife, when Lt. Brian Peterson with the sheriff's office received information that the inmate had attempted to hire other inmates to kill two people, sheriff's officials say.

Working with Texas Ranger Don Stone and the district attorney's office, Peterson discovered that Johnson had offered money and vehicles to fellow inmates to have the two murders committed, according to a news release from the department Wednesday.

Arrangements were made to connect Johnson with an experienced "hit man" and, after a series of conversations and relayed instructions from the inmate to the hit man, a contract was reached. Under the agreement, Johnson was to put up personal property as collateral until he could bond out of jail and actually pay the "hit man."

Johnson had a difficult time being convinced that the "hit man" he had "talked with over the course of four days, negotiated the contract with and agreed to pay was in reality Johnson County Sheriff Bob Alford," according to the news release.

He faces two fresh charges of soliciting murder.

Court records show that Johnson has also been charged with violating a protective order having to do with a bond in Tarrant County.

According to a Fort Worth police report, the Tarrant County charge stems from allegations that Johnson violated a protective order by going to his wife's house, getting a rifle from under her son's bed, and then threatening to kill himself and "people that were breaking into the residence."

Court records show Johnson's wife filed for divorce in September, saying that her husband had been physically, mentally and emotionally abusive for most of their 11-year marriage.

Deanna Boyd, (817) 390-7655

Twitter: @deannaboyd