Tennessee man tries to have wife killed by undercover agent from jail on son's birthday

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Former Attorney Accused of Trying to Kill His Wife a Third Time

FAYETTE COUNTY, Tn. (WREG) -- A lawyer charged with trying to hire someone to kill his wife was charged with doing it again from behind bars.

Fred Auston Wortman, III was locked up in Fayette County, Tennessee where investigators said he tried to convince a fellow inmate to do the job.

Wortman, who was indicted by a grand jury Monday, was also charged in Shelby County with trying to poison his wife with tainted toothpaste.

According to the TBI, he didn't stop there.

The TBI said he was also charged with trying to hire an inmate in the Fayette County jail to kill his wife on July 1. Not only that, but agents also said that this was the second time he tried using a hit-man.

The first, they said, was one of their very own agents posing undercover.

Investigators said Wortman provided the agent with personal information about Staci, including her schedule and planned on having her killed on their youngest child's birthday.

Court papers showed he told the agent it didn't matter if the children were home or not when their mother was murdered.

In Shelby County, police said Wortman used poisoned toothpaste to try and kill her, too. Instead of killing her, though, it only made her and one of the couple's children sick.

Court documents also showed Staci filed for divorce last April, claiming Wortman was having an affair.

Wortman was charged with two counts of solicitation to commit first degree murder and one count of attempted first degree murder in Fayette County.

His bond was set at $15 million.

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