Clarence Michael McNatt, aged 63, was arrested last week in the Houston suburb of Pasadena at a meeting he had arranged with two bogus assassins.
He is charged with one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of solicitation to commit aggravated kidnapping with intent to commit sexual assault.
Police say McNatt had attempted to hire two undercover officers posing as hit men to kidnap and sexually assault his estranged wife Mary, and then kill her friend, 31-year-old Mirivic Milton, with whom he believed she was having a lesbian affair.
Investigators say McNatt initially offered $500 for the killings, but ultimately handed the would-be assassins only $100 and three gold rings as payment.
The Houston Police Department has confirmed that McNatt served on the force from 1982 to 1986.
McNatt’s arrest was followed by a police search of his home and car. Officers reported finding tools that could have been used to restrain and torture the two women.
During a preliminary hearing on Friday (December 2), McNatt attorney’s said his client had been struggling with depression and had recently been hospitalised following a suicide attempt.
Neighbours in Pasadena told local news channel Click2Houston that McNatt used to be a “friendly and helpful” person, but had turned morose and withdrawn after his wife left him several weeks ago.
McNatt’s last Facebook post, dated November 18, was a picture of himself with his wife, along with a caption that read: “Before the Lesbian Marivic Milton stole MaryGrace McNatt from me”.
“We are ONLY friends”
Milton released a statement to the local news site ABC13 on Friday, saying she was shocked and scared to learn of the failed plot on her life.
She also denied that she and Mary McNatt were romantically involved, arguing that her friend’s husband was upset because she’d offered a place to stay after Mary broke up with him. “There is no relationship and I don’t have to prove myself to anyone,” Milton wrote. “We are ONLY friends”.
Mrs McNatt’s Facebook page features many photos of the two women trying on outfits, doing makeup and happily embracing in front of a mirror.
At Friday’s hearing, the judge ordered that McNatt be held at the Harris County Jail on a $250,000 bond. He is due back in court next month.