FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – The mayor for the City of Arlington, Robert Cluck, became emotional Tuesday as he addressed the court and the man convicted and sentenced for the murder-for-hire plot to kill him.
Former Arlington strip club owner Ryan Grant was sentenced to 10 years in prison after telling a federal judge how he was hooked on painkillers and never truly meant to murder anyone. Prosecutors had said Grant was furious after his strip club, Flashdancer Cabaret, was determined to be a nuisance and shutdown by the city.
Coming face-to-face with his would be assassin for the first time, Mayor Cluck’s voice quivered as he told the judge that he believes he was within hours of being murdered. Outside of the courtroom Cluck said, “I firmly believe that I would have been dead the day the FBI came to see me, ‘cause he [Grant] was planning on doing it either that day or the next day.”
With his wife Linda sitting quietly in the courtroom, Mayor Cluck thanked law enforcement officers and said, “I believe sincerely, strongly, that they saved my life.”
Grant stared forward during Cluck’s courtroom statement.
Grant used his cell phone to contact the person he believed to be his hired hitman, but the person receiving his text messages was actually a confidential informant. Grant allegedly offered to pay $20,000 when Cluck and local attorney Tom Brandt were both dead.
Outside the courtroom Grant’s attorney, Warren St. John, spoke for his client. “He wanted to convey that he’s very remorseful and sorry for his actions. Even though the mayor believes he did, he never had any intention to go forward with trying to have the mayor killed or this attorney from Dallas killed.”
Mayor Cluck said he doesn’t believe the denial of intent for a second. “Even though we’ve been told that he [Grant] wasn’t gonna do anything, you can’t prove that to me. I feel sorry for him. I think he’s going where he needs to go.”
Even with Grant’s conviction, Mayor Cluck explained how the ordeal has affected him and his family. “We never went to bed at night or never woke up in the morning that we didn’t think about it [murder attempt] and talk about it a little bit. We were much more careful in everything that we did [and] we will continue to be that way,” he said. “It’s impacted our lives in a negative way, so it’s time to put it behind us and get on with what we enjoy doing. There’s not been a lot of thrill in our lives recently.”
As for Grant’s apology and if he accepted it, the Mayor said, “I guess so. It’s hard. You know it’s hard to accept, but I try to always accept peoples apologies because you don’t get many apologies in life.”
Under federal rules, Grant must serve his 10-year sentence for Conspiracy to Commit Murder before also serving three years of supervised release probation. He was led from the courtroom in handcuffs. Attorney St. John said his client will most likely get drug rehabilitation, for his addiction to pain medication, while in prison.