SALT LAKE CITY -- A federal judge in Utah has ruled that a man convicted in 2011 of a crafting a murder-for-hire scheme in Idaho is entitled to a plea deal his attorney didn't properly explain.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled Tuesday that Kelly J. Polatis received "ineffective assistance" from his attorney, Lawrence Leigh, when the government offered a plea deal in December 2010.
Waddoups says Polatis can now accept that plea deal and be sentenced based on the parameters of it instead of the 2011 conviction by a jury.
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.