Tahlequah man admits he tried to hire hitman

Thursday, August 19th 2004, 6:22 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ A Tahlequah furniture store owner has admitted he tried to hire a hitman to kill an employee's husband.

Hugh Alan Means, 34, could receive as much as five years in prison and three years' probation, as well as a $250,000 fine at his sentencing.

Prosecutors charged Means with conspiracy to use a communication facility in interstate commerce (a telephone) with the intent to commit murder-for-hire. He was indicted in April.

Means and employee Katherine Robertson allegedly worked together to find someone to kill her husband, Brett Robertson, reports show. The killing never occurred.

Katherine Robertson also is charged with conspiracy. She appeared Wednesday in federal court in Muskogee and faces a Friday detention and preliminary hearing.

``This is an ancient story line with a modern twist,'' U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling said. ``Human nature is attracted to things that are forbidden.''

Means paid $5,000 to Michael Brunner to find a hitman, reports show. He paid $5,000 each to the planned killer and the associate, reports show.

``Federal special agents monitored phone calls and meetings in which the defendant sought to find a `professional' who could make someone go away and make it look like an accident,'' Sperling said.

Prosecutors allege he made 10 phone calls March 15-24 to set up the contract murder.

Means and his lawyers, Clark Brewster and Rob Nigh, agreed to waive an appeal unless the judge give Means a term longer than the statutory maximum, Sperling said.