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Published: Monday, 4/15/2013

Inmate, 84, accused of trying to kill prosecutor

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Dorothy Canfield Dorothy Canfield
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

CONROE, Texas  — An 84-year-old woman jailed on a theft charge allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill the Houston-area prosecutor handling her case and to maim his boss, one of the apparent targets said today.

Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon said Dorothy Canfield allegedly sought to have him attacked and his assistant district attorney, Rob Freyer, slain. Neither man was injured in the alleged plot, which investigators said surfaced in early April.

Canfield faces charges of solicitation of capital murder and solicitation to commit aggravated assault on a public servant, Ligon said. Authorities allege Canfield told other jail inmates of her plans to seek someone to kill Freyer and attack Ligon.

She was being held in jail in Conroe, about 30 miles north of Houston, on a property theft charge. Bond was set at $500,000 in the theft case. Canfield’s attorney on the theft case did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Canfield allegedly wanted the attacks to appear similar to the recent unsolved killings of two other Texas prosecutors, Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse, according to Ligon. McLelland and his wife were found dead in their homes on March 28, about two months after Hasse was fatally shot outside the local courthouse.

An undercover law enforcement agent posed as a hit man and visited Canfield in jail earlier this month, according to investigators. She allegedly suggested throwing investigators off her trail by making the alleged hits on the Montgomery County prosecutors appear to be linked to the Kaufman County slayings.

Canfield’s theft case involves allegations that she posted as an immigration attorney to bilk clients. Canfield is not a lawyer, Ligon said.

The solicitation charges announced today by Ligon were not immediately listed in online court records, though investigators were expected to release more information later today.

The deaths of the Kaufman County prosecutors were among several recent high-profile law enforcement killings, including the shooting earlier this month of a southern West Virginia sheriff and the March slaying of Colorado’s prison chief.



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