Lawrence Co. deputies say man tried to have someone murdered while in jail

Officials determined, during the time the inmate had been in jail, he was trying to solicit the murder of someone in order to affect the charges against him.

Posted: Apr 19, 2019 11:31 AM
Updated: Apr 19, 2019 6:56 PM

Lawrence County sheriff's deputies have filed additional charges for a man they say was trying to have someone murdered.

Kenneth McDonald, 42, has been in the Lawrence County Jail since early March on charges of Rape in the First Degree, 3 counts of Rape of a Child Less Than 12 in the First Degree, 10 counts of Sodomy in the First Degree, Incest and Willful Abuse and Torture of a Child Less Than 18 on an $870,000 bond.

Kenneth McDonald

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Office says, on Monday, investigators along with the narcotics division determined, during the time McDonald had been in jail, he was trying to solicit the murder of someone in order to affect the charges against him.  Investigators executed a felony arrest warrant on McDonald for the charge of criminal solicitation (murder). He now remains in the Lawrence County Jail on a bond of $930,000.

WAAY 31 spoke with some of McDonald's neighbors. They told us they can’t believe someone capable of such crimes was in their small town.

“It’s crazy. I never expected something like that to happen in Town Creek," Gage Saint said.

That was Saint’s reaction after hearing a man who’s already accused of child sex abuse is now being charged with soliciting a murder.

According to court documents, Kenneth McDonald tried to get a confidential informant to kill a woman.

Investigators tell me that woman would have an impact on his case.

It all happened while McDonald was inside the Lawrence County jail.

“It’s like a video game or a movie," Saint said.

Neighbors tell WAAY 31 stories like this rock their small town.

“It’s insane. I couldn’t believe that something like that happened in this small of a community," Brannon Dellaporta said. "It’s a really good, friendly, small community.”

McDonald’s previous charges include rape of a child younger than 12 years old, sodomy, incest, and willful abuse and torture of a child younger than 18 years old.

“That’s messed up. You shouldn’t do that," Saint said. "It’s a child. They can’t really defend themselves. And then a grown man, no, that’s not right.”

Neighbors tell WAAY 31 they are thinking about the victim, and they hope justice is served.

“I think he deserves life in prison," Dellaporta said.

WAAY 31 has filed an open records request with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office to see if there are any audio recordings of McDonald soliciting the murder, and we’ll be sure to let you know if we find any.

McDonald has a preliminary hearing for this case scheduled on April 29th at 8:30 a.m.

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