A well-known Waco, Texas defense lawyer, who once ran for county district attorney, sat behind bars on Saturday after a local police sting allegedly caught him plotting to kill a colleague’s ex-husband using a hitman, according to arrest affidavits obtained by The Daily Beast.
Seth Andrew Sutton has long held an upstanding reputation in Waco as a criminal defense lawyer, successfully defending clients in high-profile cases like the aftermath of the Waco biker shooting.
But, in lieu of separate $1 million bonds mandated by a local judge, Sutton and his colleague, Chelsea Tijerina, may not soon see the outside of the McLennan County Jail.
The would-be killer, the affidavits show, was actually an undercover policeman all along, and police arrested Sutton and Tijerina on Friday under felony charges of conspiracy to commit capital murder.
Sutton’s wife did not respond to a request for comment from The Daily Beast on Saturday. It was not yet immediately clear if he had retained an attorney in his case. (Tijerina is less well-known in the community but works at Sutton’s firm, and the Baylor University Law School graduate has taken on pro-bono cases via the university’s veterans’ clinic.)
The intended target of the alleged murder-for-hire plot, Tijerina’s ex-husband Marcus Beaudin, is also an attorney in Waco. He was taken into custody in February on a charge of indecency with a child for allegedly molesting an unspecified 10-year-old member of his family in December. The 10-year-old reported the incident to her mother. Beaudin denies the allegations, according to The Waco Tribune-Herald, which first reported on Sutton’s arrest.
According to the affidavits, the plot to kill Beaudin was extensive.
Sutton first allegedly contacted the undercover officer and met with him on May 14 to plot the assassination, the affidavit claims. On May 20, Sutton purportedly offered to acquire a gun for the murder and told the officer he would financially assist the purported hitman with moving out of town once the deed was done, according to the affidavit.
The next day, Tijerina allegedly gave the officer information about Beaudin’s whereabouts and details of his home necessary for successful completion of the “job.”
Both Sutton and Tijerina, in hopes of concocting alibis for themselves and their gunman, gave a timeline the crime should follow, the affidavit claims. On May 22, Sutton gave the officer $300 to buy a gun, according to the document. They were arrested later that day.
Waco Police spokesman, Sgt. Garen Bynum, did not respond to a request for comment on the case.