SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned a recent murder-for-hire plot was initially discovered by former St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Commander, turned private investigator, Tim Corbett.
“I got word of it through an informant (at the St. Joseph County Jail).” Corbett told RNM exclusively. “I got a call from one person who was a past informant. That person hooked me up with the person that broke this case out.”
Court documents allege 31-year-old Joshua Cassel, who was in jail for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl, initially asked another inmate if he could help facilitate a murder-for-hire against a friend he believed was sleeping with his estranged wife. That inmate said he may be able to help and then contacted the police. According to Corbett, he was initially contacted and helped start the investigation.
“I got ahold of the necessary people, let them know what I would do, and they took care of it.” Corbett said. “That was probably a few weeks ago.”
The South Bend Police Department began an undercover investigation in which an undercover detective posed as the hitman. According to court documents, Cassel provided the detective hand-drawn maps and info on when and where they could find the target of the murder plot. He planned to pay the hitman $5,000 to kill the man he believed was sleeping with his wife. He planned to get that money from his tax refund and by telling his grandmother he needed the cash to pay for legal fees.
Later, Cassel decided he wanted his father-in-law murdered as well, claiming his father-in-law was preventing him from speaking with his estranged wife. Cassel once again provided a hand drawn map and a details telling the undercover detective when and where his father-in-law could be found, according to court documents. You can read the entire narrative from the court documents here.
“This happened 2 or 3 weeks ago. The information came forward. I made contact with who I thought would be the necessary people.” Corbett told RNM. “This is not like a drug deal, you can push those off. When you’re talking about someone seeking someone to get killed, they may reach out to someone else and it could be done.”
Corbett says a case like this would typically be handled by the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit. However, the South Bend Police Department pulled out of the county-wide partnership earlier this year.
“If county metro homicide had not been dismantled, this case would have been taken care of in a couple of days. In my opinion, under the current leadership, this case drug on unnecessarily long with the potential to cost lives.” Corbett said.
“I’ve given information on probably a couple of dozen cases (since I retired a year-and-a-half ago). This particular information saved 2 lives. I’ve given information on murders, drug dealings, child molestation. Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean I’m not capable to doing this. I can’t stand by and let crimes go unpunished. It’s not in me.” Corbett added.
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