Lake County inmate plots to kill judge, prosecutors say

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — A Lake County inmate was busted for trying to hire a hit man to kill a judge, prosecutors said.

Robert O'Hare, 56, was sentenced to 20 years after he was convicted on child pornography charges.

Detectives said Tuesday that O’Hare called his mother from jail to tell family friend Albert Arthur Bowman, 74, aka “the Rabbi,” in a coded message that translated to “kill Briggs," on Jan. 7. The phone call was placed the day before Judge Don F. Briggs sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

The phone call was recorded via the Lake County Jail phone system.

"Detectives have been listening to his record phone conversations with his mom while he was in the jail and along the way, they realized he was passing coded messages to her, using an alpha numeric system,"  said John Herrell, spokesperson for the Lake County Sheriff's Office, said.

The code message system involved a series of numbers that translated into letters from the alphabet, investigators said.

Briggs oversaw O'Hare's child pornography case.

Bowman told O’Hare’s mother that he couldn’t kill the judge and that he was just a “Rabbi,” investigators said.

During questioning, Bowman told investigators that he believed the O’Hares have the money to carry out the threat to kill the judge because they had recently sold a home in Mount Dora, Florida.

Bowman said following O’Hare’s conviction, one of his attorneys handed him a piece of paper with numbers written on it. Bowman indicated he did not know what they meant so he threw it away, investigators said.

O'Hare has been charged with solicitation to commit murder.