Jailed Woman, 84, Allegedly Plotted to Kill, Injure Texas Prosecutors To Mimic Kaufman County Slayings

Woman allegedly told undercover officer to make the hit "look good."

ByABC News
April 15, 2013, 5:53 PM

April 15, 2013— -- An 84-year-old woman serving jail time on a theft charge in Texas allegedly tried to hire a hitman to kill one county prosecutor and hospitalize another, and to make it look similar to the Kaufman County prosecutor killings.

Dorothy Canfield, was charged with solicitation of capital murder and attempt to commit aggravated assault for plotting to kill Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Robert Freyer and put District Attorney Brett Ligon "in the hospital for two to three weeks," according to a statement from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"Dorothy Canfield hoped to capitalize on the tragic murder of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife, and Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse to disrupt the prosecution of her theft charge in the most violent way possible," Ligon said in the statement.

"Criminals that plot to threaten and harm those in law enforcement and prosecution need to know that we are watching," he said.

The alleged plot comes after the fatal shooting of Kaufman County District Attorney Mike McLelland and his wife, Cynthia, whose bodies were found in their Forney, Texas, home March 30. Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hasse was gunned down in January outside the county courthouse.

Canfield was being held in Montgomery County Jail in Conroe on a property theft charge that involves allegations that she posed as an immigration attorney to con clients, The Associated Press reported. Bond was set at $500,000 in that case.

The Texas Rangers were tipped off to Canfield's alleged plot by a confidential informant, and authorities then monitored Canfield's communications from jail, the DPS statement said.

Canfield was given the name and number of an undercover Harris County District Attorney investigator, who met with her in jail to discuss her plans, . She allegedly agreed to pay the undercover officer $5,000 to kill Freyer, and $2,500 to injure Ligon.

In a recording provided to ABC News by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office, Canfield told the undercover agent to "make it look good."

In the recording, the undercover agent is heard telling Canfield that once he carried out her plot and word spread about the killing, the news coverage was "going to be crazy."

"I know that, and I'm looking forward to it," she is heard telling the undercover officer.

Canfield confessed to her alleged plan in an interview with two Texas Rangers on Monday, according to authorities.

When she was showed pictures of an unrelated crime scene and investigators pretended Freyer had been killed, Canfield showed no remorse, officials said.

According to court records, Canfield has an extensive criminal history involving numerous theft charges and prison time, the AP reported.

Online jail records don't list an attorney for Canfield. No bond was set with respect to the two newest charges.

Freyer told ABC News he could not comment on the alleged plot since he has the potential of becoming a witness in the case.