Local man admits to murder-for-hire scheme to kill his estranged wife

Man confesses to murder-for-hire

CALLAWAY CO., Mo. - A Fulton man confessed Monday to his part in a murder-for-hire plot to kill his estranged wife.

Michael Gordon was accused of trying to hire a hit man, who later turned out to be an undercover officer with the Missouri Highway Patrol. The two allegedly agreed to shoot Gordon's wife in the head.

Judge Kevin Crane sentenced Gordon to six years in prison. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he's eligible for parole.

Gordon was arrested April 2013 after months of investigation. The Callaway County Sheriff Dennis Crane said Gordon and his wife, Tara Moore, were going through a divorce involving child custody.

Lieutenant Clay Chism said he received word of the plot in October 2012, from a confidential informant. The informant told him Gordon was serious about the plot to kill Moore, saying she needed "to disappear." Chism said the sheriff's department has received tips like these before, but the ensuing investigation often reveals the threats aren't serious.

Chism said this was different.

The Callaway County Sheriff's Department asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol and MUSTANG Drug Task Force for help. Chism said the department asked the Drug Task Force because of its undercover resources, not for any threat of drugs. 

In November 2012, Gordon met with an undercover officer, posing as a hit man. The two allegedly agreed Moore would be shot in the head for only $2,000. Gordon also offered a $40 down payment, and gave diagrams of Moore's house and identified her car.

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