Columbus Investigators Foil Murder Plot, 2 Men Arrested


UPDATED: Monday December 31, 2012 6:25 PM

Columbus police have a man, and his alleged accomplice, under arrest after uncovering a plan to kill his ex-wife.

Authorities said Daniel W. Lytle, 59, and Brad A. Fickenworth, 26, were arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated murder.

Investigators said Daniel Lytle was plotting to kill his ex-wife.

According to police, a man met with detectives and said that Fickenworth had contracted with him to kill his ex-wife.

When Fickenworth was brought into custody, police said he admitted that he received money to pay the man for the murder.

Police said Fickenworth was then recorded in a phone conversation with Daniel Lytle. In that conversation, Fickenworth stated to Daniel Lytle that “When you accept the money you made the contract.”

Authorities said in that conversation, Daniel Lytle said he wanted to kill his wife, use a .22 caliber weapon, and a towel.

"I'm shocked, my God, Dan, he's always seem so pleasant. He's been in my house two three times, but it just shocked me to see the news crew here," said neighbor Betty Minshall.

According to police, there was a history of violence between David Lytle and his ex. She said she had received calls from her husband who had threatened to kill her, according to court records. In October, Daniel Lytle allegedly held a large hunting knife knife to her throat after kicking his way into an apartment where she was staying.

She had filed for a civil protection order three weeks earlier.

In that complaint, she told police while waiting in her employer’s parking lot, Daniel told her he “would kill her and then himself” if she filed for divorce. Records show he also filed a civil protection order against her saying she threatened to burn down his house with him inside.

According to police reports, she claimed Daniel Lytle was also questioned in the killing of his third wife in North Carolina.

10tv confirmed Lytle was accused of a similar murder for hire crime in 1996.

Back then was charged with conspiracy to assault his ex wife with a deadly weapon with the intent to kill her.

He was convicted of lesser charges.

Police say Lytle has denied all of the charges in this most recent case. He also said that he never had a phone conversation with Fickenworth about killing his wife.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact CPD Homicide 645-4730 or Crimestoppers at 645-TIPS.

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