(04/02/2012)
Dan Kessler says he lives in fear after a former business partner allegedly tried to hire someone to kill him.

For a second time, Kessler's former business partner, Brent Boggs, of Clay County, has been indicted on charges stemming from an alleged "murder for hire" scheme.

Boggs was arraigned March 27 on solicitation to commit a felony crime of violence.

In the original criminal complaint on Jan. 19, 2011, Boggs allegedly offered two undercover State Police officers $50,000 cash and a Pontiac Grand Prix to kill Kessler.

The complaint said Boggs also offered the officers a metal bucket and told them to "bring it back with (Kessler's) head."

Kessler has told state media he believes Boggs wanted to kill him after the two men entered into a business venture that invested in gas wells.

Kessler says he backed out of the deal when he found evidence of fraud. Kessler said the two signed an agreement to give back the $150,000 he had invested.

That money never came, only the alleged bounty on his life.

"Apparently he thought it was cheaper to kill me than to pay me," Kessler said.

Kessler says the criminal justice system has let Boggs go free time after time, requiring him to spend huge sums of money on security, saying he fears for his life.

More than two dozen security cameras surround his office, and Kessler is never more than a few feet from a loaded gun.

He owns property in Calhoun County, but he said he fears for his life too greatly to return.

After the initial charge in 2011, Boggs was put on house arrest and ordered to wear an ankle bracelet.

Court documents say Boggs once cut an ankle bracelet off. He was arrested a second time at his Ivydale home. After 30 days in jail, Boggs was given a bond modification: $120,000 bond with no more ankle bracelet, and no home incarceration.

Kessler says this is in despite of evidence of the 'murder for hire' plot and what State Police investigators call a "solid case."

On Nov. 28, the case was dismissed due to a "fatal error" in the indictment paperwork filed by Clay County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Dotson.

No specific reason is listed, but a technical error forced Judge Jack Alsop to dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning the case would have to be resubmitted to a grand jury.

Now, a new warrant has been issued for Boggs' arrest, with the same criminal complaint being used.

Boggs was arraigned this week and released on a personal recognizance bond. The court required him to pay 10 percent of a $100,000 bond.


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