- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 26, 2015

YORK, Pa. (AP) - Jurors are expected to begin deliberating Wednesday in the case of a man accused of trying to hire someone to kill a male acquaintance of his wife.

Closing arguments were delivered Tuesday in the York County trial of Gregory Allen Hess, who is charged with solicitation of criminal homicide and criminal use of a communication facility.

Prosecutors allege Hess, of Seven Valleys, paid a man $30,000 to commit the killing but the man called authorities and the target helped stage photos in a ruse to convince Hess the killing had happened.

Hess testified that he wanted the man beaten up, not killed, and didn’t know about the murder-for-hire charge until after he was arrested.

“I didn’t want any permanent damage,” he said. “Just give him a warning for messing with a married woman.”

Prosecutor Tim Barker, however, cited a comment recorded by state troopers in which Hess said his children “sorta knew I was going to take this guy out.” Barker said in his closing argument that “taken out” meant only one thing - murdered.

Defense attorney Farley Holt asked jurors in his closing argument to question the credibility of the purported hit-man, and he criticized the police investigation into the case.

Hess faces separate charges that he tried to arrange the killing of the man hired for the slaying and then the killing of the second prospective hit-man.

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