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Pinellas deputies say jail inmate tried to arrange murder of wife

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 03:41 PM

Pinellas County sheriff's deputies have charged a jail inmate with trying to arrange for the homicide of his wife, who was set to testify against him in an aggravated assault case.

Howard Michael Dilkes, 50, offered an undisclosed amount of money to a fellow inmate along with 1992 Ford F150 pickup as payment. He was charged over the weekend with solicitation to commit murder and remained jailed Sunday. Bail had not been set.

Deputies said the conversation between the two inmates occurred on Jan. 27 in the Pinellas County Jail and that Dilkes wanted his 44-year-old wife, Arlita Harwood, dead so she couldn't testify against him in an aggravated assault trial.

Dilkes provided detailed information to the unnamed inmate about the intended victim's place of employment, work hours and daily routine. He provided possible options for how the murder might be committed to include a kidnapping scenario, deputies said, and handed over maps and diagrams of the victim's home.

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