Police: Daughter Tried to Hire Undercover Cop as Hitman for Dad's Murder

Kenneth Hughes was shocked to learn his wife and child tried to hire a hitman.

ByABC News via logo
February 24, 2009, 7:32 PM

Feb. 25, 2009 — -- When Dallas police arrived at Kenneth Hughes' workplace Monday morning to question him about his relationship with his wife and daughter, he didn't understand why they wanted to expound on his familial relationships or escort him to police headquarters.

Then when authorities told him his wife of 34 years, Shirley Hughes, and his oldest daughter, Tammy Lewis, had plotted a murder-for-hire scheme to collect on his $200,000 life insurance policy, he was shocked at the allegations made against his wife but not his daughter.

"My daughter ... I could believe it. My wife, no way," said Hughes, of Garland, Texas. "She's my wife, my friend, and I just don't think she would do anything like that."

But law enforcement officials believe she was involved in the would-be contract killing.

Police said Lewis offered to pay $25,000 to an undercover detective acting as a hitman to kill her father and said she wanted her dad shot dead as soon as possible.

The two met at a local strip mall, where Lewis gave the undercover officer a loaded pistol to use in the homicide. Lewis said she and her mother would pay the would-be killer the $25,000 fee from her father's $200,000 life insurance policy as soon as it was cashed.

"It's certainly unique to have two people involved in a murder for hire," said former FBI agent and ABC News consultant Brad Garrett. "Add another person and you're really increasing your odds of getting caught."

Shirley Hughes and Lewis confessed to police to having played a part in the plan. Both women are currently being held at the Dallas County Jail on $100,000 bond and face charges of solicitation to commit capital murder.