- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PORT ALLEN, La. (AP) - Authorities say a 37-year-old Port Allen man who sought to hire a hit man to kill a Pointe Coupee couple over a soured business deal is behind bars after the would-be hit man went to police and turned informant.

The Advocate reports (https://bit.ly/1wYGEi0) Tommy Joe Gioele was booked into West Baton Rouge Parish Jail Tuesday on two counts of solicitation of murder for his alleged attempt to have Manuel A. Persica and his wife Camellia killed inside their Pointe Coupee home.

Gioele and Persica have been locked in a bitter business feud dating back to a 2008 lawsuit filed by Gioele, court records show. The suit asserts Persica violated terms of a contract related to the 2007 sale of the couple’s Port Allen restaurant, Camile’s Cajun Cafe, which eventually led to Gioele losing the business at a sheriff’s sale.

The lawsuit, filed in 18th Judicial District Court, accuses Persica of engaging in fraudulent acts that prevented Gioele from operating the cafe as a profitable business after its sale.

Gioele is being held on a $750,000 bond.

The man, whom authorities did not identify, brought his story to the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, telling a detective that Gioele had paid him $300 to buy a pistol to kill the couple, according to the arrest warrant for Gioele.

It was unclear whether he has an attorney.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com


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