A Southern California man involved in a custody battle with his ex-wife is accused of trying to hire a hitman - who turned out to be an undercover detective - to kill the woman. He allegedly requested the deadly deed be done in accordance with his Christmas travel plans, officials say. Kate Larsen reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.
A father allegedly tried to hire an undercover detective to kill his ex-wife while the pair was engaged in a child support and custody battle, authorities in Orange County said.
William John Wallace, 33, of Santa Ana, was charged Monday with one felony count of attempted murder with premeditation and deliberation, and two felony counts of solicitation to commit murder, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
In August, Wallace allegedly hired a private investigator to dig up negative information about his ex-wife and the mother of his child that he could then use against her in court proceedings to determine child support payments, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.
That private investigator told police that, during their working relationship, Wallace asked him if he knew of anyone who could kill his ex-wife and dispose of her body, the district attorney’s office said.
"During the private investigator attempting to get informaion about the ex-wife, Mr. Wallace indicated that he was looking for somebody to kill his wife," Orange County Sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.
Prosecutors said Wallace met on Dec. 21 with an undercover Orange County sheriff’s detective whom he thought could help carry out the alleged murder-for-hire plot, which he allegedly requested to happen sometime after Dec. 23, since he would be leaving the country for Christmas.
Wallace offered to pay $30,000 for his wife’s murder and showed the detective a photo of her so she could be identified, the DA said.
Wallace met with the undercover detective in a parking lot, where he tried to negotiate the killing, Hallock said.
"He felt that financially it was better off to pay somebody to murder his ex-wife than to move forward with any court proceedings," Hallock said.
Prosecutors said they would request Wallace be held without bail. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 26 years to life in state prison.