Lawyer Pleads Guilty in Plot to Murder Colleague After Secretary’s Suspected Theft
Posted Aug 17, 2010 6:08 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A South Carolina lawyer was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for trying to solicit the murder of a former colleague.
Conway lawyer Irby Walker pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit a felony and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspended to three years in prison and five years of probation if he completes the lesser sentence successfully, according to TheSunNews.com and CarolinaLive.com.
Walker was also ordered to complete mental health counseling after the attempted hit on the lawyer, Doug Thornton, who had shared office space with him. "I began to blame Doug for things I should've never blamed him for,” Walker told the judge. “None of those things, had I been normal, would've affected me."
Several lawyers who spoke on Walker’s behalf said he was kind and dedicated to his family and law practice, but he began to change after firing a former secretary suspected of embezzlement, the Sun News story says.
Prosecutors said a man contacted by Walker to carry out the murder went to Thornton and police, who sent an undercover officer to pose as the hit man. Walker paid $500 in cash and $4,500 in two checks from his law firm, with another $5,000 to be paid after the murder, prosecutors said.