Pottawattamie County authorities say they’ve foiled a murder-for-hire plot that was being hatched by a convicted sex offender who was already behind bars. County Attorney Matt Wilbur explains the plan.
"We uncovered information that led us to believe an inmate at the Pottawattamie County Jail was attempting to take a contract out on the lives of five individuals, three of whom were minor girls," Wilbur says. He says Terry Leggio of Crescent, Iowa, was sentenced to 50 years in prison on Monday. After he was sentenced, Wilbur says Leggio got a surprise.
"We had an arrest warrant served on Terry Leggio for five counts of attempt to commit murder, five counts of conspiracy to commit murder and five counts of solicitation to commit murder," Wilbur says.
Wilbur says Leggio had conversations with another inmate indicating he wanted to hire someone to kill two children who were his victims in the sexual assault case, their sister, mother and Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Sergeant Dwayne Riche, the investigator who handled the case.
Leggio told the inmate that if the children and their mother were not alive, they could not testify against him. Authorities were also able to intercept a letter that turned out to be a very important piece of evidence. Wilbur says: "The letter was captured by jail administration, laying out some of the details. It was a letter that was written by Mr. Leggio to his mother." Wilbur says Leggio’s mother also faces charges.
She allegedly agreed to help with planning the killings and is also charged with five counts of conspiracy, all felonies. Each count would carry a ten-year sentence. The suspect’s mother, Susan Leggio of Ferguson, Iowa, was arrested Monday. Terry Leggio allegedly signed a promissory note that he would pay the informant $50,000 and his 1984 Camaro it do the job.