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While in jail awaiting trial for the near-fatal throat slashing of his ex-wife, Kristopher Ertmann began plotting something even more sinister — her murder. Authorities in Davis County, Utah, learned that in the spring of 2014, Ertmann had approached fellow inmates for their help in organizing Tiffany Mead’s contract killing.
One former inmate named Raymond, who had been housed in the same cell block, told investigators Ertmann asked if he “had the connections to arrange for bad things to happen to her … her death, specifically.” Ertmann reportedly told Raymond he could pay a hitman $25,000 to murder his ex-wife. Another inmate said that “[Ertmann] offered to have me do something … to kill her.”
Following the inmate’s interview with the Davis County Sheriff's office, he agreed to become an informant and introduce a “hitman” — undercover officer Detective Scott Clark — to Ertmann. Investigators had Detective Clark visit the jail for a video call with the inmate, during which Ertmann passed along Mead’s home address. Detective Clark was instructed to take photographs confirming the residence and victim.
Mead, who had been informed of the potential threat on her life, agreed to pose for a set of staged photographs.
She told “Murder for Hire,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen, that it took “everything that I had to not just break down and cry while they were taking pictures.”
Detective Clark then returned to the jail to speak with Ertmann and show him the photographs. Ertmann confirmed Mead was the intended victim and told him to “have fun” killing her. Asked when he wanted the murder to take place, Ertmann said “the sooner the better,” and agreed to pay Detective Clark $5,000 for the hit.
Ertmann was charged with two felony counts of criminal solicitation to commit aggravated murder and three felony counts of obstructing justice. As part of a plea deal, Ertmann pleaded no contest to aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury and criminal solicitation to commit aggravated murder. He was sentenced to five years to life for the criminal solicitation to commit aggravated murder charge and one to 15 years for the aggravated assault charge. The sentences were ordered to run consecutive to each other, making it essentially a six years to life sentence.
In 2016, Ertmann was denied parole, and he will not have another parole hearing until at least 2029.
To hear more about the case and find out how Mead is doing today, watch “Murder for Hire” on Oxygen.
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