A Wisconsin inmate is accused of plotting to kill a female cop—one year after she arrested him on domestic violence charges.
Alijouwon Tupac Watkins, 20, allegedly planned the murder-for-hire from Dane County jail, where he was incarcerated for the domestic incident and offered a fellow prisoner cash to wipe out the unnamed officer, authorities say.
Watkins even transferred money into a third party’s account to secure the slaying, and obtained the Madison cop’s cellphone number and work schedule, police chief Mike Koval said at a news conference Friday.
“We have nipped something in the bud,” Koval told reporters. “We want these to be isolated [incidents]. We don’t want these to be the new normal.”
Police caught onto Watkins’ alleged plans when the inmate he solicited for the hit job ended up warning authorities instead. Then they discovered Watkins had acquired the officer’s date of birth and her general work hours and assigned district.
The officer was put on leave for her protection and other cops received a bulletin to be on alert once the alleged rubout scheme was revealed, Koval said.
It’s unclear how Watkins obtained the lady cop’s personal information while he was in jail, or how he planned to kill her, Koval said.
“The means was not necessarily as crafted sophistically as the end game,” Koval said, according to Madison.com. “I don’t think they cared how that occurred, but I think there was a sense of urgency.”
Watkins is facing a slew of charges stemming from the domestic violence call, including felony intimidation of a domestic abuse victim, attempted battery to a police officer and causing substantial bodily harm while resisting an officer. His trial is scheduled to begin June 14, court records show.
Now Madison police are recommending additional charges to Watkins’ record: conspiracy to commit homicide and solicitation to commit perjury.
Investigators learned Watkins was also allegedly seeking for someone to give false testimony about his confrontation with the female officer—who suffered a concussion during the domestic violence call, Koval said.
The district attorney’s office said it is reviewing the case. The Dane County sheriff and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also worked on the investigation, which is ongoing, Madison.com reported.
Watkins first encountered the targeted officer in June 2015, after police were called to a McDonald’s restaurant over a domestic disturbance.
According to a criminal complaint, Watkins’ girlfriend told officers she had been living with him for one month and that the couple shared a car.
Watkins allegedly flew into a rage while the couple was in their vehicle. The woman told cops she refused to let him take the car to meet friends for the night because she needed it to get to work, court papers state.
During the argument, Watkins allegedly smashed the windshield with his fists before punching his girlfriend in the face. Then she pulled into a McDonald’s drive-through, where he hit her three to five more times and where she tried to seek help, the complaint says.
“Call the cops!” the woman yelled to McDonald’s employees, according to court papers.
She wasn’t certain workers called police, so several minutes later she left and the altercation continued, prosecutors say. Watkins tried prying the woman’s phone away multiple times, preventing her from dialing 911, court records state.
Two female police officers—including the one Watkins would later allegedly plot to kill—caught up with him soon after, the complaint says.
Watkins allegedly resisted arrest, thrashing his shoulders from left to right and refusing orders to get down on the ground, prosecutors say. During the scuffle, Watkins elbowed one female officer in the head, giving her a concussion, before fleeing.
The officer’s injury resulted in the charge of resisting an officer and causing substantial bodily harm—a felony that has Watkins facing up to six years in prison.
David Stegall, an attorney for Watkins, told The Daily Beast his client denies the latest accusations against him.
“I am unable to comment at length about Mr. Watkins’ pending legal matters except to say that he denies the accusations,” Stegall said in an e-mail, adding that Watkins “is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”