Murder-for-hire plot: Man accused of offering to pay for wife's killing, cremation

By Phil Archer - Reporter

HOUSTON - A man is accused of hatching a plot to have his estranged wife killed in order to keep her from testifying at his trial.

Investigators said 47-year-old Ryan Lane even went as far as trying to plan a cremation for her body at a Houston funeral home.

On the outside, Lane’s life seemed prosperous.

He's a Navy veteran who earned an MBA in physics and was building an impressive new home in southeast Houston.

In reality, Lane’s world was falling apart.

He and his wife were getting divorced and Lane was awaiting trial on a counterfeiting charge that could send him to prison for 10 years.

His estranged wife was a prosecution witness in the case.

According to state police, earlier this month, Lane told a friend he wanted his wife killed and her body cremated.

"CI (criminal informant) stated he’d like his soon-to-be ex-wife killed before his trial on the counterfeit charge, which was set at the end of March 2019," officials read at court.

Lane allegedly offered up to $30,000 for her murder.

Within 24 hours of saying he wanted his wife killed, he got a call from a man who offered to do the job, but was actually an undercover Department of Public Safety officer, officials said. He and Lane arranged to meet.

Investigators said Lane began talking about his pending court case and advised the special agent that the only way for the court case to go away was to convince the district attorney he was innocent or to make his wife go away.

The special agent told Lane the price to kill his wife would be $25,000, authorities said.

According to investigators, Lane said he could pay half up front and the rest after things settled down.

No money ever changed hands and no one died.

After the meeting, Lane was arrested. He is being held with no bond.

Lane's wife said she is worried about her safety, wven though her estranged husband is behind bars.

Lane is facing up to life in prison if he's convicted on the solicitation of murder charge.

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