Collierville man arrested in murder-for-hire plot

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JACKSON, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested a Collierville attorney who they say tried to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.

According to a release, agents began investigating Fred Auston Wortman III on June 4 after someone contacted them and reported a strange encounter with the attorney.

They claimed Wortman had called him trying to find someone to kill his wife.

An undercover agent posed as a potential hit-man and met Wortman on Friday.

He allegedly gave the agent personal information about his wife and a down payment for the murder.

The 39-year-old was arrested and charged with one count of solicitation of first-degree murder.

He's being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $15 million bond.

WREG did some research on Wortman and discovered some fascinating facts.

Before his law firm removed his online profile, it said he was the married father of three children, a Christian, an outdoorsman, and a former player on the University of Tennessee's National Championship Football team.

A couple of years ago, at the start of the Municipal School Districts Wortman ran for Collierville School Board.

He was in a candidate profile video for voters and shared his ideas and concerns for starting what was then a brand new school system.

Wortman talked about his roots growing up in Dyersburg, but said his family was the main reason he was running.

"What drew me to this school board position was I have three children, so I have a long term investment in the Collierville schools," he said.

WREG stopped by Wortman's home in Collierville, but no one was there.

People who lived nearby said they can't believe a neighbor was charged with such a crime.

"Everybody in the neighborhood knows each other. They speak to each other, have kids and everything. It's a really nice quiet neighborhood," said one neighbor.

WREG also learned that Wortman was arrested for speeding in 2014, but those charges were dropped.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.