Ark. man accidently calls target while hiring hit man

(CNN) - An Arkansas car salesman is accused of plotting the murder of a former employee after accidentally letting the intended victim in on it.

Police say he pocket-dialed the alleged target while giving instructions to a hit man.

Jonesboro police say unbeknownst to Larry Barnett, while he was hiring someone to kill his former employee, he let the target in on it and explained in detail how and why he wanted it done.

Sergeant Doug Formon with the Jonesboro Police Department says it started when Barnett, who owns Legend Motor Company on South Stadium Boulevard, accidentally called his former employee.

"And basically he overheard a conversation between that individual and another unknown male in there he was giving out some personal information, his address, where he lives," Sgt. Formon said.

According to the probable cause 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 ... make it look like an accident."

From there, the target called police. When they arrived at the intended target's home, the call had been going on for an hour and a half.

"The conversation on the phone had already ended, but the phone call was still active to Mr. Barnett's cellphone," Sgt. Formon said.

And it seems it didn't take long for the hit man to act. The target went to the police department to fill out a report.
When he returned home, police say it had been burglarized and his gas stove had been tampered with.

During the phone call, the target overheard that Barnett had attempted to have him killed once prior, but "they couldn't get the job done." So he would pay this man $5,000 up front and "the remainder when the job was done."

His reasoning behind this murder for hire plot?

The target says he overheard Barnett say "I owe the little son of a ***** a bunch of money and if he's gone, I don't have to pay it."

During an interview with police, Barnett admitted to mistakenly calling the intended victim as well as discussing his phone number and address to that unidentified man.

"I've been here now for 25 years. 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 a crime and then accidentally called them," Sgt. Formon said.

Barnett was released from jail Tuesday on $50,000 bond.

He is due back in court on Dec. 30.
 


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