Criminal Justice

Lawyer charged with murder solicitation targeted his former office manager, her lawyer says

A Texas lawyer charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder was seeking to kill his former office manager, an attorney for the claimed target says.

Ex-employee Maryann Uribe has been litigating in civil court in Nueces County against attorney Paul Andrews, 57, for several years over claims she was fired for refusing to solicit personal-injury-case clients. Earlier this year, Andrews was criminally charged with barratry in Bexar County, and on Wednesday he was arrested in the claimed murder-solicitation plot, which Bexar County authorities said involved a witness in the barratry case.

Attorney Bill Edwards of Corpus Christi represents Uribe. A prosecutor told him his client was the intended victim in the claimed murder-for-hire, Edwards says, and “we’re now discussing the security measures we should take around here,” the San Antonio Express News reports.

“This is the first time in 56 years of practicing law that I’ve had a client threatened with death,” Edwards added. “I’ve been trying to tell people that barratry is an insidious crime that corrupts a lot of people, and here is proof positive.”

According to an arrest warrant affidavit released later Thursday, Andrews told a client that “he would not mind if Uribe was run over by a car or killed,” the San Antonio Express reported. In a later meeting while the client was wearing a recording device provided by authorities, Andrews reaffirmed his wish for “something to happen to Uribe,” and offered to cut the client’s legal fee in half. “He confirmed he did not have a way to pay (the client) for killing her without leaving a paper trail,” the warrant states.

Andrews was arrested in Corpus Christi two days later, the San Antonio Express reported. He was held on $1 million bail in the Nueces County Jail before a transfer to Bexar County.

The articles don’t include any comment from Andrews or his counsel, and the Express-News said its phone call to Andrews’ law firm seeking comment did not receive a response.

Related coverage: “Ex-Office Manager Sues 2 Lawyers for Barratry, Says She Was Fired for Refusing to Solicit Cases”

Updated Aug. 22 to include information from the arrest warrant affidavit.

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