The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

July 31, 2007

Plot to kill Childs case needs trial, judge rules

An Enid man accused of soliciting an undercover agent to kill the owner of a gentlemen’s club was bound over for trial Tuesday following a preliminary hearing.

Andrew D. Harshman, 26, was charged Jan. 11 with a count of first-degree solicitation for murder, which in punishable by five years to life in prison. Harshman allegedly hired a man, who was an undercover agent, to kill Rick Childs because of a custody dispute involving his ex-wife and Childs.

Special Dis-trict Judge Paul Woodward im-mediately order-ed the case bound over following closing arguments Tuesday morning.

“I found there is probable cause the crime of solicitation of murder has been committed,” Woodward said.

Enid police began investigating Harshman after being contacted by an informant who said he had been approached by Harshman to have Childs “taken out.”

The court heard testimony from Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control agent Allen Lane, who posed as a hit man and was introduced to Harshman by the Enid Police Department informant.

Lane told the court Harshman told him, “No matter what happened he wanted Childs name to be a memory.”

Lane said during the investigation he even suggested Harshman forego the murder and just take custody of his children.

Assistant District Attorney Mike Fields asked Lane if Harshman ever took any opportunity to back out of the plot.

Lane answered, “No sir, he didn’t.”

Harshman’s attorney, Stephen Cameron, asked the agent if Harshman ever told him he wanted Childs “killed” or “wanted him dead.”

Lane said Harshman never used “those exact words.”

Lane testified Harshman agreed to pay $36,000 for the murder and also offered to provide a shotgun to be used in the killings. Lane said Harshman decided on a shotgun because the metal would melt easier and be easier to dispose of.

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