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Crime & Courts

Florida high school teacher charged in murder-for-hire plot

A Florida high school teacher was arrested for allegedly plotting to kill a former colleague, My Fox Tampa Bay reports.

James Pepe, 55, a social studies teacher at Bloomington High School, was arrested last week for what police say was a plot to harm Pepe’s former colleague, teacher Robert Meredith.

During a recorded conversation played during Pepe’s bond hearing Saturday, prosecutors allege Pepe is heard on tape saying of Meredith, “I want him killed; all right.”

According to investigators, the suspect believed Meredith had been spreading nasty rumors about him. Investigators say Meredith, who was not in court Saturday, is concerned about his safety. Meredith teaches at another school now, but last year both he and Pepe taught social studies at Bloomington.

Police say Pepe believed Meredith had been spreading nasty rumors about him and wanted revenge, My Fox Tampa Bay reports.

According to the station, a voice on the recording asks: "How do you want Meredith killed?"

Then, a voice detectives say is Pepe, says: "Any way he wants; I don't give a [expletive], OK?"

Pepe was denied a request for bond and remains behind bars.

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