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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who was supposed to go on trial this week on charges of raping a young girl now faces new charges accusing him of trying to hire someone to kill the girl.
Kristoffer Clyde Jones, 29, of the city of Washington in Washington County, was charged Tuesday in 5th District Court with three counts of criminal solicitation for murder, a first-degree felony.
Jones is already charged with four counts of rape of a child, aggravated sex abuse of a child and sodomy on a child, all first-degree felonies, involving a 13-year-old girl. He is also charged with two counts of sexual abuse of a child, a second-degree felony, and two counts of failing to register as a sex offender, a third-degree felony.
A three-day trial was scheduled to begin in the rape case starting Monday, but it was canceled last week as both the prosecution and defense waited for the criminal solicitation charges to be filed, according to court records.
The investigation began when the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received information that Jones, an inmate at the Purgatory Correctional Facility, “was attempting to solicit inmates to kill the victim/witness in his case,” according to charging documents.
Detectives interviewed an inmate whom Jones had allegedly talked to, and he confirmed “that they in fact were discussing Kristoffer wanting him to ‘get rid’ of the victim/witness. The victim in his case is who would be testifying against him in an upcoming jury trial,” the charges state.
Jones also told a confidential informant that he wanted his victim “gone, gone gone,” according to the charges.
The informant then “provided a story that he knew people on the outside that could help with something like this,” the charges state. Jones allegedly agreed to pay this person within 30 days of getting out of jail, and then drew a map of where the victim lived. He also provided the informant with details about where the girl went to school and her parents’ work schedules, according to the charges.
“Kristoffer wrote a note with the dollar amount he agreed to pay with a ‘guarantee on it,” investigators wrote in the charging documents.
Jones even offered suggestions about how the hitman could carry out the crime — including a drive-by shooting, running her over with a car, or injecting her with insulin, the charges state.
On Oct. 31, an undercover officer posed as the hitman and talked to Jones via video chat.
“The (officer) gave Kristoffer one last chance to back out. The (officer) advised after he hung up the phone that Kristoffer would not be able to contact him to stop him. When asked by the (officer) if he wanted him to follow through, Kristoffer said ‘yes,’” according to the charges.
After that, detectives brought Jones in for questioning and arrested him. During interviews with other inmates, it was learned that Jones had allegedly solicited a second person to do the job.
“He said Kristoffer offered a written promise letter, sealed with a blood fingerprint, as a debt he would owe the (inmate) if he went through with it,” the charges say.
That inmate said Jones also offered to help him rob a bank as part of his payment, according to police.
A third inmate gave investigators a note that he said came from Jones.
“In summary it asked ‘if it’s possible if you know a way to get rid of someone & I think you know what I mean by that & would you be willing to help me out. I’m facing 25 to life for rape of a child that I never committed, & I need the (expletive) to disappear for good,’” the charges state.
Washington County Sheriff’s Lt. David Crouse said Tuesday that “special consideration and safeguards” were implemented to ensure the safety of the teenage girl.
Jones’ initial appearance on the solicitation charges is scheduled for Thursday. The next hearing for the rape case is scheduled for Dec. 12.
In 2011, Jones was convicted of unlawful sexual activity with a minor and was sentenced to up to five years in the Utah State Prison.
Correction: An earlier version incorrectly said Jones was out of jail on bail when he spoke with an undercover officer. Police say Jones was still in jail.