Suspect May Change Plea In Mayor Murder Plot
FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - The man accused of plotting to kill Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck is scheduled to appear in a federal court on Thursday, and court documents filed Wednesday indicate a new turn of events in the case. Ryan Walker Grant is set to be re-arraigned on Thursday, which could mean that he is changing his plea to guilty of murder-for-hire.
Grant is the owner of Flashdancer, an Arlington strip club that was shut down in January as part of a nuisance lawsuit filed by the City of Arlington and the Texas Attorney General’s Office. The business was to remain closed until 2013. It was the 12th sexually-oriented business to be shuttered by the city. According to officials who have been investigating the case, Grant feared that Cluck and the City of Arlington wanted to permanently close the strip club, in which case Grant would stand to lose $800,000 each year.
Cluck stated that he acted in the “best interests of Arlington.” The city defines a nuisance as a place where an individual regularly goes for gambling, drugs or prostitution.
A federal complaint accused the 34-year-old Grant of approaching an unidentified middle man who would pay Mexican hitmen $10,000 each to kill Cluck and Tom Brandt, and an attorney who had been working with the City of Arlington on cases involving strip clubs. Federal officials discovered a large number of weapons in Grant’s Kennedale home, along with two bulletproof vests and $145,000 in cash.
Grant allegedly wanted Mexicans to carry out the crimes because “they could go back to Mexico after the murders were completed,” said the federal complaint.
The first charge against Grant accuses him of plotting the murder-for-hire in spring 2012. A second charge accuses him of giving a semi-automatic rifle to a known convicted felon in November 2011. Grant originally pleaded not guilty after his indictment in July. He has been in custody since his arrest in April.
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