Woman on trial for trying to hire hit man charged with same crime again
Salt Lake City, Utah (KSL) — A Herriman woman now convicted of trying to arrange to have her ex-husband murdered — who was previously charged with seeking a second hit man while in jail — was charged yet again Friday with trying to hire a third hit man.
The stunning charges against Linda Tracy Gillman, 70, were filed on the same day a jury began deliberating her initial case. She was found guilty Friday afternoon of one count of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, but was acquitted of a second count.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said.
Early last year, Gillman was charged with two counts of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, for allegedly asking one of her employees — a man who also rents a condominium from her — “if he could arrange to have her ex-husband, Mr. D. Gillman, killed,” charging documents state.
She allegedly gave the man $5,000 and promised him $100,000 more once her ex-husband and his current wife were dead and she collected her ex-husband’s life insurance.
Gillman was married to Duane H. Gillman, a veteran bankruptcy attorney in Salt Lake City.
The plan was for the acquaintance to hire a third person to carry out the murder and make it look like Duane Gillman died from a drug overdose, according to the charges. Instead, the man went to police and Gillman was arrested.
Then in June, Gillman was charged with attempted obstruction of justice, a third-degree felony. Police say while she was in the Salt Lake County Jail, she approached another inmate who she thought was affiliated with a white supremacist gang.
“Gillman referred to herself as ‘the bank,’ and said that she ‘could make everything happen'” if he would take care of the man who went to the police, charging documents say.
Gillman said that if “somehow (the man) ended up dead or disappearing, then I would walk out of here a free woman,” investigators wrote in the charges.
She also allegedly said that if the man disappeared, “it would make all her dreams come true.”
That case was eventually dismissed due to problems with witnesses.
This week, Gillman went on trial for her criminal solicitation charges. Prosecutors recounted the allegations against Gillman on Friday morning, saying the evidence in the case, including audio recordings, clearly laid out the woman’s plot.
But Gillman’s attorney, Colleen Coebergh, argued Gillman was the one who had been solicited by the so-called hitman, who was actually after the elderly woman’s money.
Jurors began deliberating the case later in the day.
But in an unbelievable turn of events, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that Gillman had tried to hire a hit man once again from the jail as recently as three weeks ago. She wanted to have the prosecution’s key witness in her original case murdered, as well as an attorney, according to court documents.
She was charged Friday with two more counts of criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony, and two counts of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony.
The new charges say Gillman asked an attorney on Feb. 13 to bring her a check while visiting her at the jail. Gillman then filled out the check and placed it in an envelope addressed to “M.K.,” according to police.
Jail corrections officers intercepted the letter, noting that it was against policy for mail to be delivered directly to an inmate. They opened the letter and noticed the check was made out for $155,000, the new charges state.
The next day, investigators interviewed another inmate — a woman Gillman had befriended while behind bars. Gillman told the woman she would post her bail if she agreed to break into a storage unit and destroy two CDs that contained recordings of Gillman and others involved in her case, according to the charges.
Gillman also wanted the woman to find the prosecution’s key witness in her case — the former employee whom she was accused of originally asking to have her husband killed — and “give him a ‘confess’ letter that was authored by Gillman,” the charges state. If he refused to sign it, the woman (inmate) was told to contact a specific person (who is not named in the court documents) and take the former employee “out,” the charges state.
In addition, Gillman wanted the woman to ask the same unnamed person “if he would be willing to kill” an attorney who won a civil case against her, according to Gill.
“She had lined up an individual who would take the witness out. And in addition, asked to have an attorney killed in an opposing civil action against her that she had lost,” the district attorney said.
The inmate provided police with several documents in Gillman’s handwriting aimed to “provide incentive” for the alleged hit man to carry out the plan, the charges state, “and emphasizing that her case needed to be ‘shot down.'”
The check was made out to a family member of the female inmate, according to the charges.
Bail for Gillman’s new charges is set at $2.5 million.
On Friday, Gill praised the investigator who uncovered the new plot and noted that all the allegations are being taken seriously.
Sentencing for Gillman is set for April 23. She faces a potential sentence of five years to life in prison.