Sex predator accused of trying to hire hitman from prison

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WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a convicted sexual predator serving a life sentence at a Florida Panhandle prison tried to hire a hitman to kill several law enforcement officers, a prosecutor, a judge and a juvenile victim.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported in a news release Thursday that 72-year-old Loomes Wheeler Jr. faces six counts of solicitation to commit murder. He is currently incarcerated at Gulf Correctional Institution.

An arrest warrant issued Wednesday says Wheeler offered an FDLE agent, who Wheeler believed was a hitman, $95,000 in November to fatally shoot the victims as soon as possible.

Wheeler is a millionaire who once owned riding stables in central Florida. He received a life sentence in July for lewd and lascivious molestation.

State prison records didn't list an attorney for Wheeler.

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