COLUMBIA, South Carolina — If at first you don’t succeed. …
A Montana man at the end of a 10 year sentence for a botched attempt to hire a hitman to kill his ex-wife, has been hit with another 11 years behind bars for trying to get a second killer to bump off the former spouse and the first gunman who turned him in.
Shane Douglas Sichting, 48, was convicted in 2007 of trying to hire an employee at his auto body shop to kill his wife from whom he was getting divorced and was fighting over custody of their kids.
The plan came unraveled when the hired gun, Ronald Morales, turned out to be a grifter who walked off with $30,000 of Sichting’s money with no intention of harming his wife. When Morales was later busted for drunk driving in Oregon, he told authorities about the plot.
With six months to go before he was scheduled to be released from a federal prison in South Carolina into a halfway house, federal prosecutors say Sichting tried in July 2015 to hire a fellow inmate to kill his ex-wife and Morales.
“Sichting specifically wanted the murders to take place prior to his anticipated release to a halfway house in January 2016,” federal prosecutors said in a statement.
“It’s hard to believe that someone can hate you so much they want you dead,” Sichting’s ex-wife, Sheilagh told KTVQ-TV.
The inmate agreed to the plot but also informed the FBI who came up with a plan to have the inmate provide Sichting with a telephone number for a “hitman” that was willing to do the job.
The hitman was an FBI employee acting in an undercover capacity.
Through telephone calls and letters, Sichting provided information to the hitman about the intended victims, used coded language, like, referring to the targets as certain makes of cars. He also negotiated the price to be paid for each of the murders.
Sichting pleaded guilty to the second hit attempt in September 2016 and now will serve an additional 135 months in jail.