Patrick David McCollum, 51, of Arnold, Mo., pleaded guilty today in Madison County Circuit Court, Division II, to a charge of solicitation to commit aggravated assault.
His sentencing date is set for 10 a.m. on Jan. 11 in Circuit Court. He faces a punishment range of one to two years. He remains free on $250,000 bond.
BACKGROUND: On Dec. 20, 2010, Jackson police received a tip that McCollum was attempting to hire someone to seriously injure his ex-wife's divorce lawyer Harold Johnson, of Jackson. On Dec. 21 Jackson police violent crimes investigators and agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation conducted an undercover operation to substantiate the threat against Johnson. An undercover TBI agent met with McCollum at his business, Pat's Custom Cabinets at 205 Sterling Street in Jackson. McCollum solicited the agent by offering him money to beat Johnson with a baseball bat with specific instruction to break numerous bones in his body. McCollum provided the undercover agent with Johnson's work and home addresses and phone numbers. McCollum also gave the agent two cans of pepper spray to use on Johnson. After McCollum made an initial cash down payment to the undercover agent, he was arrested on the parking lot of Wal-Mart on Emporium Drive by JPD investigators and TBI agents. The investigation indicated that McCollum planned the attack after he received a letter and court papers from Johnson to modify prior court orders.
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