LIBERAL One of five people who are expected to serve prison time in a murder-for-hire plot has been sentenced to more than 15 years for his part in the scheme.
Isaac Rodriguez, 26, of Dodge City, pleaded guilty in Seward County District Court to one count of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of aggravated intimidation of a witness. He was sentenced to 15 years, 10 months for the conspiracy charge and given a concurrent 18-month sentence on the intimidation count.
Seward County Atty. Don Scott said Rodriguez hired Travis Kohn of Colorado Springs, Colo., to murder Eric Pike, whom Rodriguez had shot in the face during a robbery attempt near Dodge City in 2001. Pike survived and was scheduled to testify against Rodriguez in that case.
Kohn and others Rodriguez hired to kill Pike went to Liberal on Oct. 19, 2002, to do the job, but they backed down. They talked to Rodriguez and returned to Liberal the next day to threaten Pike at gunpoint. But they didn't harm him that time, either.
Kohn and Nicholas Moody of Ulysses have yet to be sentenced for their roles in the conspiracy. Joshua Talbert of Ulysses has been sentenced to about 15 years, and Audry Martinez, also of Ulysses, was sentenced to five years, Scott said.
Moody and Talbert were convicted in jury trials; Rodriguez, Kohn and Martinez all entered plea agreements, Scott said.
Rodriguez was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in Ford County for shooting Pike in the jaw during a Nov. 12, 2001, robbery at an overlook on U.S. 50.
Scott said Rodriguez also has worked out a plea bargain in Grant County for possession of methamphetamine with intent to sell.