Authorities arrested a Texas man on Tuesday after he allegedly tried to line up a hit on his former girlfriend by asking a Marine to “put a bullet in her head,” according to police.
KVUE reports that Travis County police arrested Keith James Cote, 62, on Tuesday morning at his Austin home after he allegedly offered to pay a U.S. Marine at least $25,000 to kill his former girlfriend, and an additional $15,000 if he could watch the hitman-for-hire “put a bullet in her head.”
The Marine decided to work with law enforcement to capture Cote. He indicated that Cote, an acquaintance, approached him on Oct. 7 during a football tailgating incident and asked him to hang out with him and watch the Philadelphia Eagles football game, taking place on the following day.
The Marine accepted the Cote’s invitation. While at the suspect’s home the next day, Cote said he needed a “dirty deed, done dirt cheap” before asking the Marine if he could get a 9mm gun, according to police.
Cote allegedly told the Marine he asked him because he knew “he killed people before.” The suspect then reportedly put $10,000 on the table in front of the Marine and allegedly said he wanted his ex-girlfriend dead because she was dating a black man. Cote the offered the Marine an additional $15,000 to allow him to watch the shooting, according to police.
The Marine wasn’t sure if Cote was serious, and asked him to text him directions on what he want done, which made the suspect grow suspicious.
“He decided that he needed to report this to law enforcement because he now realizes that Keith was serious and feared he may actually find someone else to agree to kill [his ex-girlfriend],” the affidavit stated.
Despite his suspicions, Cote continued on with his plans. At the request of law enforcement, the Marine wore a recording device while meeting up with Cote to discuss the murder plan.
“He stated that Mr. Cote wants to ride in the pickup with [the Marine] and would lean the seat back to prevent being seen,” the affidavit stated. “He instructed [the Marine] that he wanted him to walk up to [his ex-girlfriend’s] vehicle and tap on her window. When she looked up at him, [the Marine] is to shoot her twice in the head and he [Mr. Cote] wanted to watch her slump over the wheel dead.”
Meanwhile, according to the Austin American-Statesman, authorities tracked down the former girlfriend to inform her of her husband’s plan. Initially, she didn’t believe the authorities were truly with law enforcement.
“This is atypical for a large majority of my phone calls to victims, witnesses and suspects,” the detective said in the affidavit. “But not unusual for someone who lives in fear of further victimization due to domestic violence.”
After authorities gained her trust, the woman said that Cole physically abused her and that as long as he was alive, she couldn’t stop looking over her shoulder in fear of him. She said she split up with him and hadn’t seen him since 2015, but that he continued to harass her, especially after he learned she was dating a black man.
“When asked why she believed Mr. Cote would want her killed, she confirmed that Mr. Cote is a racist and confirmed that she is now dating a black man. She stated that the only thing Mr. Cote hates more than a black man was a white woman who is with a black man,” the affidavit read.
Cole allegedly paid the Marine an additional $300 to purchase a gun and said that if he hadn’t been paralyzed from an accident, he would have killed her himself. Apparently the suspect previously slipped and fell in a Houston strip club, breaking his neck.
According to the affidavit, Cole also reportedly said he would like to stab her with an ice pick and watch her die slowly.
After the pair drove around while making detailed plans, they arrived back at Cote’s house, where he made a toast to the Marine and said, “‘Here’s to ending old problems and building new friends.’”
Cotes was arrested and booked into the Travis County jail on charges of criminal solicitation to commit capital murder. A judge set his bail at $1 million. If convicted, Cote faces up to life in prison.
[Feature Photo: Travis County Sheriff’s Office]