A Pennsylvania youth pastor imprisoned for impregnating a 16-year-old girl tried to hire a hitman to kill the leader of his mega-church as well as the judge who threw him behind bars, according to authorities.
Jacob Malone, 37, was serving three to six years in state prison after being convicted of sexually assaulting the teenage girl who gave birth to his child, Chester County’s District Attorney revealed.
While inside, he offered $5,000 for someone to kill Pastor Harold Lee Wiggins, his boss at Calvary Fellowship Church in Exton who he blamed for contacting police about his abuse of the girl, prosecutors allege.
“The defendant also told the inmate that he would be willing to offer additional money for the murder of Judge [Jacqueline] Cody, who presided over the sexual assault case,” the DA’s release alleges.
He was particularly infuriated by the judge who handed him a stiffer sentence than one that he’d bargained for, according to the Daily Local News.
Malone was busted after a cellmate came forward to cops. He was charged by state police with attempted murder, criminal solicitation, attempted aggravated assault and terroristic threats, the DA said.
“The District Attorney’s Office is deeply concerned about these extremely serious allegations,” District Attorney Deb Ryan said, stressing that the two alleged targets “are safe.”
The former pastor was initially arrested in January 2016 after the girl gave birth to his child and implicated him in sexually assaulting her, the Daily Local News said.
She thought of him as a father figure, but he took advantage of her “mentally, physically, spiritually,” she told cops, saying the “godly man” proved himself “something else when no one was watching.”
Malone pleaded guilty in April 2017, expecting a plea-deal sentence of two to four years, the paper said.
But Judge Cody surprised him at sentencing, rejecting the lighter sentence and hitting him with three to six years, because the victim wanted him to serve more time for what the judge called his “inexcusable” crimes.
“You are serving a sentence much lighter than the crime deserves,” Cody told a handcuffed and shackled Malone at the time, according to the paper.
Malone is still serving time in State Correctional Institute Phoenix in Skippack Township, Montgomery County. It was unclear whether he had yet been arraigned on the attempted murder charges.
Neither Wiggins nor Cody responded to the paper’s requests for comment.
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