84-year-old inmate accused of hiring hit man to kill prosecutor

CONROE, Texas (AP) - 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 Monday.

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. She was being held in jail Monday in Conroe, about 30 miles north of Houston, on a property theft charge. Bond was set at $500,000 in the theft case.

Online jail records did not list an attorney for Canfield, who allegedly told other jail inmates of her plans to seek someone to kill Freyer and attack Ligon.

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 his 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 Monday by Ligon were not immediately listed in online court records, though investigators were expected to release more information later Monday.

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