Carmel man offered coworker $15,000 to kill estranged wife, police say

Police: Hitman told not to harm family dog

CARMEL, Ind. - Murder conspiracy charges have been lodged against a Carmel man who is accused of offering $15,000 for a coworker to kill his estranged wife.

Police said the coworker secretly recorded the plot being laid out at his workplace, and then provided the recording directly to the would-be victim, who called the police.

"I want the (expletive) done," the man was recorded as telling his colleague in a tape that was transcribed by police in court papers.

Stephen Perry of Ditch Road in Carmel was booked into the Hamilton County Jail earlier this month on a felony charge of conspiracy to commit murder. The court papers were obtained this week by the Call 6 Investigators.

Police said Perry approached a coworker on the job at an auto oil change business on North Michigan Avenue, saying he was owed money by his estranged wife, but wanted to have her killed so that he could collect that money while saving money from divorce proceedings.

"It's gonna get me my damn money without the divorce. And then I can get all of my money out," police said Perry was recorded as telling the would-be hitman.

"If she dies, I can drop the divorce lawsuit. She's dead and I'm free," police said that Perry could be heard saying on the recording.

Perry is charged with offering the coworker $15,000, along with a homemade printing press, in exchange for the killing.

"I don't want to know who, alright? And if they can make it look like an accident," police said Perry told the coworker.

That coworker contacted the estranged wife, and then met her at a Carmel coffee shop to alert her to the plot and provide the recordings of their discussions inside the oil change business.

The woman called police, who then confiscated the recordings. Detectives said Perry is heard telling the colleague that the killer could keep several computers from the home after the woman was killed. 

Police said Perry was also recorded as saying he wanted to make sure that the family dog was left alone.

"You hurt my dog, that's another story. You hurt my dog, the deal's off," police said was recorded on the tape.

Workers at the oil change business told Call 6 Investigators on Tuesday that police came into the business and arrested Perry.

His bond had been set at $1 million, but a judge reduced that amount to $250,000 at a court hearing last week. Perry posted bail and was served with a court order that bars him having any contact with his estranged wife.

Hamilton County prosecutors said the recordings of the plot were not being released pending trial.

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