Texas woman, 84, charged with hiring hit man to kill local D.A

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 15, 2013 8:04 PM

By Amanda Orr

(Reuters) - A 84-year-old Texas woman in jail for theft was charged on Monday with attempting to hire a hit man to kill the local district attorney who filed the theft charge and to make the killing look similar to the recent murder of a district attorney in Kaufman County.

Dorothy Canfield was charged with solicitation to commit capital murder after she allegedly paid an undercover officer, posing as a hit man, $5,000 to kill Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Robert Freyer.

Canfield was also charged with solicitation to commit aggravated assault on a public servant for allegedly agreeing to pay the undercover officer $2,500 to injure Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon.

"Threats against public servants are a direct threat against criminal justice system itself," Ligon said Monday during a news conference announcing the charges.

Dorothy Canfield confessed on Monday after Texas Rangers produced photographs from an unrelated crime scene that led her to believe that Freyer had been murdered.

"She's very cold. She's not remorseful. I've never seen anything like it," said Texas Ranger Wende Wakeman, who interviewed Canfield during the investigation.

Canfield made the solicitations from within the Montgomery County jail where she is incarcerated on second-degree felony theft charges. She is accused of stealing money from undocumented immigrants hoping to become U.S. citizens.

According to investigators, Canfield wanted revenge against the two prosecutors for charging her with theft.

The incident comes less than three weeks after Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife Cynthia were found murdered in their Forney home, 22 miles from Dallas, two months after Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down execution-style.

According to audio records provided by the Montgomery County Police Department, Canfield wanted the would-be hit man to make the murder of Freyer look like the Kaufman County murders.

(Editing by Brendan O'Brien and Bob Burgdorfer)