Man convicted in murder-for-hire scheme

Jul 20 2011 - 8:42pm

SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal jury has unanimously convicted a Utah man of crafting a murder-for-hire scheme to kill a prosecutor and key witnesses in an Idaho drug case.

Kelly J. Polatis was found guilty Wednesday of 14 combined counts of witness tampering and using interstate commerce in the commission of a murder-for-hire. The jury acquitted Polatis of three charges. Defense attorney Lawrence Leigh says he'll appeal.

U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups will sentence Polatis on Sept. 30. Polatis faces more than 130 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Polatis attempted to hire an undercover FBI agent posing as a hit man to kill five people who spoke to authorities about his involvement in a marijuana-growing operation in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Polatis was acquitted of the drug charges in 2010.

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