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Police say feud led Arkansas man to hired-killer plot

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Photographs by GARLAND COUNTY JAIL

Ricky Cleveland Alexander, 58, of Hot Springs

HOT SPRINGS -- A Hot Springs man accused of plotting to have a woman killed had a history of incidents involving her and her husband over the past year, police say.

Ricky Cleveland Alexander, 58, was arrested March 13 and charged with solicitation of murder in the first degree, a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison, in what police say was an attempt to hire a friend to kill Amy Emley.

According to an arrest affidavit, there were several documented incidents over the past year involving Alexander, Emley and her husband, Shane Emley. The incidents included physical altercations, a reported aggravated assault in which Amy Emley stated that Alexander entered her home and pointed a shotgun at her, and Alexander shooting another person, Alvin Sherman Nobles, 32, outside the Emleys' previous residence, the affidavit said.

The main issue stems from Amy Emley obtaining more than $40,000 from Alexander's father before his death, which Alexander alleges was obtained by fraud, the affidavit said.

On Feb. 21, shortly before 10:30 a.m., a witness went to the Hot Springs Police Department and spoke to Detective Scott Lampinen alleging that Alexander, whom he has been friends with for years, was trying to hire him to kill Amy Emley, authorities said. He said Alexander had approached him about a month before and offered him $10,000 to kill Amy Emley, police said.

According to police, the friend said he and Alexander had spoken "14 to 15 times since then and [Alexander] was pushing for an answer."

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The friend said Alexander offered to pay him half the money up front and the other half "when it was done," according to the affidavit. He said Alexander wanted the friend to tell him when the murder was going to be committed "so he could have an alibi," authorities said.

The friend agreed to wear a recording device at their next meeting, which occurred around 1 p.m. Feb. 22 in the backyard at Alexander's residence, according to the affidavit. The two discussed killing Emley, and the friend agreed to kill her but told him he needed half the money up front along with a gun, according to the affidavit.

Alexander told him he had some money coming in the next day but that it wouldn't be available until Feb. 27, authorities said. When the friend asked Alexander how he wanted him to kill Emley, he said that "he didn't care, whatever was easiest," the affidavit said.

Between Feb. 22 and March 7, Alexander was in contact with the friend and told him he was getting the money but that "it was taking longer than expected," authorities said. The affidavit noted further investigation revealed Alexander was obtaining a $25,000 loan against his deceased father's estate through probate court.

On March 9, the friend met with Alexander again at his residence, and in a second recorded conversation Alexander spoke again about killing Emley, authorities said. According to the affidavit, Alexander asked his friend to bury Emley after she was killed "so that no one would find her." Alexander also told the friend he would need to find his own weapon "so that he would not be linked back to any guns," authorities said.

Alexander said he was going to his bank to obtain money from the loan he was getting and told the friend to return around 6 p.m. so he could pay him, authorities said. Lampinen said he conducted surveillance of the bank and saw Alexander enter the bank at 3 p.m. and leave about 24 minutes later.

Shortly before 6 p.m., the affidavit said, the friend recorded a third conversation with Alexander at his home during which Alexander showed him $2,000 in cash. He gave the friend $100 in cash to purchase a weapon and put the $2,000 in a safe. He told the friend he would give him the $2,000 after Emley was dead "and would have to pay the rest out every couple of weeks because probate court would only allow him to obtain small amounts at a time," authorities said.

The affidavit said the friend met Alexander at his house around 5:30 p.m. Saturday and recorded a fourth conversation during which Alexander paid him $500 toward the $10,000 total and agreed to pay the balance over time.

Based on the evidence from the four recordings, a warrant was issued for Alexander and he was taken into custody.

At the time of his arrest March 13, Alexander was still out on bond stemming from his arrest Oct. 7 on a felony charge of first-degree battery. He's accused of shooting Nobles while attempting to shoot Shane Emley.

State Desk on 03/20/2017

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