- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 16, 2002

PHOENIX (AP) A career criminal, a clergyman and a sex offender were arrested in a plot to kill Gov. Jane Dee Hull and a county sheriff known for his strict treatment of inmates.
The scheme was intended to free the sex offender and get revenge for jail conditions, Maricopa County Sheriff spokesman Jake MacIntyre said yesterday.
Under the scheme, law officials said, the three planned to kidnap Mrs. Hull, stuff her into a trunk and hold her until she agreed to sign a pardon, Mr. MacIntyre said. The men would then have her killed and her body buried under a tree, he said.
Once freed, the sex offender planned to pay a sniper $100,000 to kill Sheriff Joe Arpaio with a rifle, Mr. MacIntyre said.
"We are not talking about rocket scientists here, but then again the formulation of the desire to kill was there," Mr. MacIntyre said.
Investigators said Mormon clergyman Robert Bradford, 65, had been serving as a volunteer chaplain at the Madison Street Jail when he met 78-year-old inmate Donald Cochran.
Cochran, who was in jail for failing to register as a sex offender, is believed to had Mr. Bradford take $2,354 from Cochran's bank account and transfer it to the account of another inmate, Danny Warner.
Warner, 43, who has spent half his life behind bars, used the money to bail himself out of jail so he could hire the killer, investigators said. Warner had been jailed on charges of trying to run over police officers.
Warner and Cochran were charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Mr. Bradford was charged with facilitation to commit murder.
Phoenix police began investigating the plot last month after a tip from another jail inmate, said Dave Hendershott, Sheriff Arpaio's chief deputy. An undercover detective posing as a hit man met with Warner on May 12 and taped their conversation, leading to the arrests.
Sheriff Arpaio, first elected in 1992, has made national news for placing inmates in tents to reduce crowding, dressing them in pink underwear to reduce theft of jail clothing and re-establishing chain gangs with inmates wearing old-fashioned striped uniforms.

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