Tennessee authorities thwart murder for hire plot hours before it was set to occur

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HUMBOLDT, Tenn. — Two men were taken into custody after state authorities thwarted a murder for hire a mere three hours before it was set to occur.

It all began on February 6 when the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the West Tennessee Drug Task Force received information that Stephen Taylor had hired Gregory Barnes to kill another man.

According to investigators, Taylor was initially charged with burglary and aggravated assault charges in Rutherford County. The victim in that case told the court he wanted to testify as a witness on February 8, leading to Taylor and Barnes allegedly plotting his death.

While sitting in the Gibson County Jail, authorities said the pair planned the murder. Taylor even gave Barnes a picture of the man, a vehicle description, place of employment and even home address information.

The intended victim was taken into law enforcement protective custody the following day on February 7.

Several hours later, they took both suspects into custody. They were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Mugshots for both men were not made available.

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