A former Charleston firefighter who retired on disability after pulling his colleagues' bodies from the ruins of the Sofa Super Store is sitting behind bars accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife.
Edward Clinton Jones III, 41, allegedly offered to pay $8,000 for a man to shoot and kill his wife on New Year's Day, believing she was going to move to Delaware with their four children, according to The Post and Courier.
What Jones didn't know was the hired gun was an undercover officer, alerted to the plot by another man first contacted by the firefighter.
During a bail hearing, Jones' wife asked the judge to keep him in jail.
"I am afraid for my life," she said in a shaky voice. "I am afraid he will come after me and finish what he wanted to do."
Jones, who was in a wheelchair, responded: "This is not the end. I do love my wife and this was totally stupid. I don't know why I could even talk about such a thing. This is not me; I've never hurt anybody in my life."
Jones was ordered to stay in jail.
After the hearing, Michelle Jones told the reporters she did not intend on moving back to Delaware with their children, which her husband had allegedly told the undercover officer.
"He could have given me divorce papers if that's what he wanted," Jones said. "I had no idea this was coming at all. I was shocked."
The paper, citing court records, noted that the officer recorded Jones' plan and offer for the New Year's Day murder that was to occur while his wife was working.\
"He told the officer that the ammunition to be used was already "cleaned" and to make sure and "finish off" his wife because he didn't want to visit her in a hospital, according to the published report.
Jones, a 19-year veteran of the Charleston Fire Department, retired on disability after the furniture store blaze saying he was unable to do his job because of PTSD.
He and other firefighters are suing the store, its owners and several furniture companies.