Cops: Man Learns of Murder Plot Against Him After Alleged Suspect Butt Dials Him
JONESBORO, AR. - Police say the owner of used car dealership in Jonesboro was arrested for conspiracy to commit murdere after accidentally calling his intended victim while plotting the crime.
Jonesboro police told Region 8 News that the suspect, 68-year-old Larry Barnett of Jonesboro, was in the process of hiring someone to kill his former employee, when he unintentionally called that same employee, who then overhead the details of how and why Barnett wanted it done.
Sergeant Doug Formon said, "Basically, he overheard a conversation between that individual and another unknown male and he was giving out his personal information, his address, where he lives."
According to the affidavit, Barnett told the supposed hit-man, "I don't care if you have to burn his house to the ground with him in it" and to "make it look like an accident." Barnett's reason was reportedly made clear as well: "I owe the little son of a ***** a bunch of money and if he's gone, I don't have to pay for it."
Apparently this wasn't the first time Barnett had considered killing the employee. The target also overheard talk of a previous attempt against him but "they couldn't get the job done."
The intended victim called police. When officers arrived at the intended target's home, the phone call had been going on for an hour and half. "The conversation on the phone had already ended but the phone call was still active to Mr. Barnett's cell phone."
Court documents state that the intended target then went to the police department to fill out a report. When he returned home, police say his home had been already burglarized and the gas stove had been tampered with.
During an interview with police, Barnett admitted to mistakenly calling the intended victim as well as disclosing his phone number and address to the unidentified man.
"I've been here now for 25 years and I've never recalled a time when a subject has accidentally, if you will, 'butt-dialed' someone they're either trying to commit a crime against or the possible victim of the crime," Formon said.
Barnett's temporary bond was set at $1 million but was lowered to $50,000. He is also facing separate charges for felony theft greater than $25,000 and felony forgery. Police say he was falsifying documents for his bank, forging VIN numbers for vehicles that didn't exist, so he could receive loans...stealing over $100,000 from his bank.