Tab Denny Johnson of Burleson was already in jail for allegedly assaulting his wife when, authorities say, he figured he needed to finish the job. Problem was, of course, he was probably going to be behind bars for a while. So he figured he'd ask one of his peers to figure out how to kill his old lady -- and her boyfriend.
One of the inmates said he'd help, but he instead alerted the Johnson County Sheriff's Office, where Sheriff Bob Alford drew up a plan to cut this criminal mastermind off at the pass: He'd pretend to be a hit man, and make a deal with Johnson. Over the phone. It was a risky move, one that hinged on the hope that Johnson was one of the dumbest fucking people in the world. Fortunately for all involved, he was.
According to NBC 5 and The Dallas Morning News, Johnson and Alford spoke four times on the phone, with Johnson offering the fake hit man "$10,000 in cash, two all-terrain vehicles and a boat in exchange for the crimes." (We wonder if the promise of those ATVs tempted Alford, if even for a second.)
Johnson must have been crestfallen to learn that the dude on the other end of the phone was not an assassin for hire. We're guessing the sting of betrayal resonated as much as the indictment on two counts of solicitation of capital murder. He's being held on $500,000 bond.
So let this be a lesson to all y'all. Make sure to meet your hit man in person, or at least verify he's who he says he is by checking the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation's "Wet Work" division.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.