Man Pleads Guilty in Plot to Kill Prison Guard

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - A man has pleaded guilty to his role in a plot to kill a prison guard at the Lee Correctional Institution.

Sean Echols, 30, was in federal court Wednesday, where he accepted the charge of conspiracy to use interstate facilities in murder-for-hire.

Back on March 5, 2010, Captain Robert Johnson was shot six times at his Sumter home. He survived the assault on his life.

Prosecutors say he was targeted because while working at the jail, he'd repeatedly stopped contraband, such as cell phones and drugs, from getting to inmates. In response, a group of inmates who were upset about the seizures then hatched a plot to kill Johnson.

According to prosecutors, one of the inmates on the inside contacted Echols, who'd recently been released from prison. Prosecutors say Echols discussed with the other inmates how to carry out the shooting, and what money Echols would receive for his role in the effort. An inmate even mailed an initial payment to Echols.

Echols will be sentenced at a later date, and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.


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