Murder for hire case in East Texas

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A murder plot was foiled just in the nick of time. Last night, ATF agents arrested Cathryn Lake and her boyfriend, Rudolph Regalado, a prison guard. The two are accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill Cathryn Lake's estranged husband.

There was a wife and there was a boyfriend. Now, authorities say there was a motive.

"There was a lot of activity on the potential victim's life insurance policy," said Clay Alexander.

ATF resident agent in charge, Clay Alexander said that policy was going to be increased quite a bit. He said that several weeks ago, Lake and Regalado made contact with their hitman, an undercover officer.

"They provided a gun that they wanted to be used for a homicide to the undercover agent at which time, we realized, they're not all talk," explained Alexander.

Lake and Regalado stood before a Smith County judge Friday morning. Just the day before, their indictments were sealed. Asst. Smith County D.A. April Sikes says that quickly changed with all the elements of the crime in place.

"The deal has been made," said April Sikes. "There is money being offered, a firearm has been provided."

"Talking location, exchanging photographs," said Alexander.

"It becomes essential at that point to seek indictments and have those individuals arrested...because Mr. Lake's life, I believe, depended on it," said Sikes.

The couple was driving down south Broadway in Tyler when they were pulled over by police. Moments later, Regalado and Lake were taken into custody.

Brad Spradlin, director of development with Habitat for Humanity said he found out about the arrest Friday morning. Lake worked in customer service inside the Habitat Restore in Tyler.

"[She was] a very good employee," said Brad Spradlin. "I wish her the very best."

"You'd like to think adults make better decisions...but unfortunately, sometimes, greed gets in the way and it's sad," said Alexander.

Authorities are now grateful the alleged "plot" did not thicken even more.

Authorities told us the two met with the undercover officer multiple times over the past few months. They say a portion of the victim's life insurance policy would have been used to pay the hitman.

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