Ex-HPD officer accused in murder-for-hire plot to kill woman

PASADENA, Texas - A former Houston police officer is accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill a woman in Pasadena.

Clarence Michael McNatt, 63, allegedly attempted to recruit hit men to sexually assault his wife, Mary McNatt,  and a female friend, Marivic Milton, 31, and then murder Milton after the recent break-up of her marriage.

Investigators say he arranged two meetings in mid-November with men he thought were hired killers, but who were actually undercover Pasadena police officers.

In a hearing before a magistrate judge Thursday morning, prosecutors said McNatt “wanted the undercover officers to sexually assault, both his wife and his wife’s friend.” 

“After the sexual assaults they were instructed to kill the friend, Ms. Milton, and he would pay them $500.”

During a news conference Thursday, Lt. James Holt-Pasadena Police Department said, “He did have a plan in place how this was to be carried out and he relayed that info to undercover officers."

After McNatt’s arrest Wednesday, police ran a search warrant at McNatt’s house in the 3300 block of Chestershire in Pasadena.

Investigators say a search of McNatt’s car turned up items that could have been used to bind, torture and sexually assault the women.

McNatt grew up in the neighborhood.

Neighbors describe as friendly and helpful, but say he became withdrawn and sullen after his wife left  him several weeks ago. 

Barbara Canterbury said she’s known him for 48 years.

“His wife left, I really don’t know much about what’s going on with her, but I know they’re still having issues. He’s not dealing with it well.”

Cody Hall lived across the street from the McNatt home. He says McNatt still looked in on his elderly grandmother, and kept her lawn mowed during summer months.

“You definitely could tell he’s been down these past few weeks,” Hall said.  “But hearing this? It’s crazy.”

McNatt served as a police officer in the 80s and 90s for the Houston Police Department, Clear Lake Shores, and the Ames Police Department in Liberty County.

He’s now charged with two counts of solicitation of kidnapping with intent to commit sexual assault and one count of solicitation of capital murder. All are first-degree felonies that carry a punishment range of up to 99 years in prison.

McNatt is currently being held without bond in the Harris County Jail.

Pasadena police said they received information in early November that Clarence Michael McNatt, was attempting to hire someone to murder a 31-year-old woman.

Two undercover detectives posed as hitmen, and an investigation led to charges against McNatt. He was arrested Wednesday night.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you're on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2