• Charges dropped for JBLM officer accused of trying to hire hit man to kill wife


    JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Washington - Charges were dropped Friday for a Joint Base Lewis-McChord officer accused of trying to hire a hit-man to kill his wife.

    Prosecutors said the main witness in the case against Lt. Col. Robert Underwood was not credible.

    Philip Thornton, Underwood's defense attorney, said their contention was that Underwood was innocent, "and I think the state came to that conclusion, too."

    Underwood said he could talk publicly about the case just yet. He said he is focused on rebuilding his career with the Army and getting on with his life.

    According to probable cause documents obtained by KIRO 7's Kevin McCarty in March, Underwood told his daughter "he was going to do something crazy and it would be on the news, the world would know about it."  Court documents state Underwood was going through a "nasty divorce" with his wife and was angry because of a custody battle involving his children.

    The allegations were based almost solely on the word of Underwood's former girlfriend.

    Probable cause documents state a woman Underwood was involved with went to his wife in March, warning her of the threat, after he told her he "paid a hit man $150,000 to kill [his wife and fellow officer]."  She claims "He said the money is in foreign accounts and it would not be found."

    The woman also claimed she found pictures of Underwood's daugther naked and sleeping on his computer, but a forensic search of his hard drive turned up no such evidence.

    Underwood's defense attorney said it was soon revealed that the former girlfriend had left him angry voicemails threatening to ruin his career.

    "She sets out with a plan to hurt his career, to damage his reputation and to harm him in his custody battle for his daughters, and she temporarily succeeded,"  Thornton said.

    Related: Records show years of profanity-laced rants by JBLM officer accused of threats to blow up Capitol


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