A Bartow County Jail inmate is accused of offering to pay up to $10,000 for his ex-wife to be killed and paid a deposit of $800 to a FBI agent posing as a hitman.
Michael Lawrence Dane McEarchern, 29, of Temple, is accused in U.S. District Court in Rome of using a phone to conspire to commit murder. He hasn’t been indicted in the federal court system but is being held without bond after a hearing earlier this month.
According to a narrative by FBI Special Agent Mitchell Jackson:
On Nov. 6 an informant sent another FBI agent a text message that McEarchern, who was housed at the Bartow County Jail, was seeking someone who would kill his wife.
The informant said that inmate, identified as McEarchern, sought to “get somebody to take out his wife for $5,000 to $10,000.”
At that time, he’d been in the jail since Oct. 17 on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine as well as posses-sion of a Schedule IV controlled substance and marijuana.
An agent acting as a potential hitman contacted McEarchern who identi-fied his ex-wife, gave them her Smyrna address and said he would send an $800 deposit to an agreed upon post office box. He then said he also want-ed his ex-wife’s boyfriend killed as well and gave the agent the boyfriend’s place of work.
When agents contacted Smyrna police they found that the boyfriend had earlier been shot several times and survived.
“Evidence indicated Michael McEarchern hired someone to kill (him),” Jackson wrote.
On Nov. 30, an agent went to the agreed upon post office box and picked up the deposit. They tracked down the return address to a hotel on Windy Hill Road and discovered McEarchern’s girlfriend worked as a bartender at the hotel.
Reviewing recorded phone calls at the jail on Nov. 29, McEarchern told his girlfriend which address to send the money to and asked her to confirm she mailed the money. She said she had mailed the envelope when she left work on the Friday prior.
Also on Nov. 30, agents arranged for a recording device to be placed in his cell. In that recording, McEachern gave specific details about the best places and times to find his ex-wife and that he didn’t care how it hap-pened as “long as it happens this time.”
He was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals from the Bartow County Jail on Dec. 5.