TUMWATER — A state employee accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill his estranged wife faced a judge in Thurston County Wednesday.
Cops say 45-year-old Brian Cox of Tumwater, a state Department of Financial Institutions employee, offered one of his co-workers $10,000 to make is wife “permanently disappear,” but the co-worker flipped and helped police in the investigation.
Cox, and his wife Lisa, have been going through a difficult divorce. Investigators said Brian asked his co-worker to kill his wife after he took out a $250,000 life insurance policy on her.
Prosecutors said they have probable cause to charge Brian with solicitation to commit murder.
Cox’s wife didn’t go on camera, but her attorney said she’s very shaken.
“She is emotionally trying to recover from the shock of this event,” said Lisa’s attorney, Marcella Hughes. “The situation was hard enough.”
Hughes said that Lisa was awarded a protection order against her husband in late March.
Court documents reveal Brian’s co-worker wore a hidden video camera and microphone that recorded a conversation where he allegedly told his co-worker he would pay him to murder Lisa.
The judge set bail at $800,000 for Brian Cox. In addition, he must surrender all firearms and he’s not allowed to make contact with his former co-workers.
Investigators said Cox was determined to have his wife killed.
“My source gave Mr. Cox plenty of opportunities to come forward and say, ‘I’m not serious,’ or ‘Yea, I am just joking,’” said detective Jan Kolb with the Tumwater Police Department. “He gave him very, very ample opportunity to do that and he never did.”
Brian Cox’s stepchildren said they were shocked to hear of the news. Some only learned about the alleged scheme on Tuesday.