Man booked after murder-for-hire plot falls apart



SEATTLE - Police booked a 33-year-old man into jail after he was hired by a felon to kill a man who the felon believed to be a police informant.


According to police, the plan unraveled Jan. 20 when intel detectives with the Seattle Police Department received information from the King County Jail that a felon was trying to arrange to kill a man he believed had put him in jail.


Police said Ira Dechant was caught Jan. 7 with a car full of body armor, guns, cash and a fake officer badge.


While Dechant  was in jail, he tried to get help from an inmate who was going to be released and Charles Schuelke, 33, to carry out a contract to kill a man he believed to be an informant.


Detectives kept a close watch on Dechant behind the plot.


According to police, Dechant arranged financing for the plot, drew maps of his intended victim’s house and described how he wanted his victim killed: "Wet him with gasoline, dry him with a match.”


The plan started to unfold when the soon-to-be released inmate told police all the information about the plot.


When the inmate got out of jail, he met with Schuelke, who gave him a loaded gun, according to police.


The inmate discussed the plan in detail to Shuelke and told him, “You know, I’m here to kill that guy.”


During the meeting, a SWAT team moved in and arrested Shuelke without incident.


Police got a search warrant for Shuelke’s home, and they found evidence linking him to the murder-for-hire plot.


Shuelke was booked into the King County Jail for solicitation and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.


Dechant was also charged with the new crime, police said.


A King County deputy prosecutor has been helping with the investigation.  


Detectives will continue to follow up on the case.