This week, the Texas Department of Public Safety announced that an 84-year-old woman in Conroe was caught attempting to hire an assassin to target Texas district attorneys. 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 to injure District Attorney Brett Ligon, wrote ABC News.
Texas prosecutors and law enforcement officials have been on high alert since the March slayings of Kaufman County District Attorney Mark McLelland and his wife, which followed the January murder of his Assistant DA Mark Hasse.
Canfield, it seems, took note of the murderous trend and allegedly wanted to mimic it. Ligon said that the elderly criminal hoped to “disrupt the prosecution of her theft charge in the most violent way possible.” Canfield was jailed in November after posing as an immigration lawyer and attempting to steal more than $50,000 from immigrants who were trying to become legal residents, wrote KHOU-TV.
An unnamed informant inside the jail tipped off authorities about Canfield’s homicidal intentions April 1, according to court records. The informant provided Canfield with the name of a potential killer-for-hire. Canfield added the name to her visitors list and set up a meeting with him, wrote the Huffington Post.
The man who showed up to the meeting was instead an undercover Harris Country District Attorney investigator posing as the hitman. At a news conference, Ligon played a recording of their April 8 encounter in the Montgomery County Jail. Canfield allegedly wanted the hit carried out quickly, and told the agent to “make it look good.” The wrinkled delinquent offered to pay $5,000 for Freyer’s murder and $2,500 to put Ligon in the hospital for “two to three weeks,” according to KHOU. On the recording, the agent explains to Canfield that the crime would inspire a media frenzy in the wake of the murders in Kaufman County. “I know that, and I’m looking forward to it,” she replies.
Canfield confessed to her botched scheme in an interview with Texas Rangers on April 15. The Rangers showed Canfield photos of an unrelated crime scene, pretending that Freyer had actually been killed. Sgt. Wende Wakeman, one of two Rangers who interviewed Canfield, described the old lady as “very cold and not very remorseful,” according to the Associated Press.
The old lady isn’t the first Texan to attempt such a crime this year. Last month, a man on trial for murder in San Antonio attempted to hire an assassin to kill the judge presiding over his trial. Fortunately, that murder attempt was also foiled.
So, law enforcement officials aren’t laughing about the geezer’s gangster-style ploy. “If you’ve got the motivation, the means to make it happen, it doesn’t matter your age,” said Ligon. “The fact of the matter is the person she was trying to hire was a very robust, young guy that was able to carry out her intentions. Don’t get lost in the fact what her age is.”