FORT WORH, Texas (AP) — A federal grand jury has indicted a topless club owner accused of organizing a failed plot to kill a Texas mayor and city attorney, prosecutors announced Thursday.
Ryan Walker Grant of Kennedale was indicted Wednesday on counts of murder for hire and unlawfully transferring a firearm. Each count carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Grant has been jailed since his April 9 arrest for allegedly seeking a Mexican hit man through an intermediary to kill Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and attorney Tom Brandt. Brandt of Dallas does legal work for Arlington, a city of more than 365,000 between Dallas and Fort Worth.
Authorities allege Grant plotted the attack because the city closed his Arlington club, Flashdancer Cabaret.
Grant's attorney, J. Warren St. John, said Thursday that his client maintains his innocence and will plead not guilty when he's arraigned.
"We will be ready to proceed to trial when called," St. John said.
Grant has been embroiled in a long-running dispute with Arlington as the city has sought to limit the number of sexually oriented businesses.
He agreed in January to close the club for a year to settle a legal dispute in which the city and state called the business a nuisance, linking it to drugs, prostitution, assaults and other offenses. However, the city has since indicated it wants to keep the club closed permanently by revoking its license.
According to the FBI, Grant told the intermediary he would lose $800,000 a year if he were prohibited from operating the club.