PURGATORY, Utah, Nov. 19, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A Purgatory inmate has been charged with solicitation of murder for allegedly trying to arrange a juvenile victim/witness be killed in an effort to prevent that individual from testifying in his pending criminal case.
Detectives booked Kristoffer Jones, 29, an inmate at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, Monday on two counts of criminal solicitation for murder, said a news release from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
“The arrest is the culmination of an investigation spanning several months,” the news release said. “The investigation has revealed that Jones allegedly solicited several inmates to either kill or assist in coordinating the murder of a juvenile witness/victim in the case for which he is currently incarcerated.”
Detectives were made aware of the alleged murder for hire scheme through information gathered by deputies assigned to Purgatory Correctional Facility’s Corrections Intelligence Unit (CIU).
“Detectives were able to obtain evidence to substantiate the information reported by the CIU and continued their investigation into the solicitation plot,” the news release said.
“With the aid of an undercover officer, sufficient evidence was gathered to support the fact that Jones had taken substantial steps from inside the correctional facility, to carry out the plot to have the juvenile victim/witness killed in an effort to prevent them from testifying in the pending criminal case against him.”
Jones is currently being held on child sex offense charges stemming from an incident investigated by the St. George Police Department in January of 2019, involving a 13-year-old child, officials said.
“Detectives have worked closely with the Washington County Attorney’s Office throughout the extensive investigation,” the news release said. “Special consideration and safeguards have been implemented to ensure the safety of the juvenile witness/victim in this case.”
Based on the information and evidence obtained by detectives during the investigation, Jones was booked at the Purgatory Correctional Facility for the new charges.