A Macksburg man is charged with plotting to kill a Washington County sheriff's detective and two confidential informants who are responsible for his friend's arrest.
According to police, Steven Medaris, 20, offered to kill the three individuals who were set to testify this week in a drug trafficking trial against James E. Corder, 43, of Macksburg.
Court documents indicate Medaris presented Corder with bomb-making diagrams and a request for $15,000 to kill the three witnesses. Authorities were alerted to the plot by Corder.
Medaris, who told police he is homeless, was arrested early Tuesday at Corder's residence. He is being held in the Washington County Jail on $15,000 bond. Medaris is charged with three counts of fourth-degree attempted retaliation. Each charge carries a possible 18-month prison sentence.
Should Medaris post bond, he was ordered by Marietta Municipal Court Judge Janet Dyar-Welch to have no contact with Corder or the three individuals against whom he allegedly plotted.
"If he couldn't kill them with the bombs, he said he would slit their throats with a knife," Sheriff Larry Mincks said. "For Medaris, this was about money. He thought Corder might have been coming into some money, and I think he thought this would be a way to help himself."
A release issued by Mincks says Medaris told deputies he had driven past the homes of two of the witnesses and planned to conceal the money he would have been paid by saying he had done work for his friend.
Mincks declined to release the names of the potential targets.
Mincks said Corder presented police with the bomb-making documents and a recording with Medaris' voice detailing the plot. Police and prosecutors said Corder attempted to use the evidence to negotiate a plea deal in his drug trafficking case.
Assistant Washington County Prosecutor Susan Vessels said she was limited in what she could say about the case, but noted the case against Corder was not dismissed and the trial is proceeding.
Corder's case stems from a January 2008 incident in which he allegedly was approached by an undercover officer and confidential informants for the purchase of cocaine. According to court documents, Corder said he had no cocaine, but offered one of the informants a 30-milligram tablet of Adderrall, a Schedule II drug.
As a result, Corder was charged with third-degree felony trafficking in drugs. He faces up to five years in prison, if convicted.
During his Tuesday arraignment in Marietta Municipal Court, Medaris requested the assistance of the Washington County Public Defender's Office. A preliminary hearing was set for 3:30 p.m. Nov. 4.