Prosecutors: Husband thought wife's murder would be cheaper than divorce

by: Richard Thompson Updated:

In a Thurston County courtroom Wednesday prosecutors accused 54-year-old Brian Cox of trying to recruit a co-worker at the state Department of Financial Institutions to murder his estranged wife. Cox allegedly told the man "I have a $250,000 life insurance policy on my wife and I'm willing to give you half if you make her permanently disappear."

"This is kind of a bombshell" said Cox's wife who spoke on condition we not reveal her identity. The wife told us the divorce has been ugly but she never thought Brian would try to have her murdered, and said, "I trusted him. I trusted him with my life, my children's lives."

Tumwater police say they conducted a sting operation and recorded Brian Cox telling his co-worker "I still want her dead and it's still worth ten grand to me because I'm going to be paying more than that in attorney fees and to her." Cox continued "I'm going to be paying like another twenty grand in fees s0 dude, we're talking murder here man."

"He holds grudges and he always finds a way to get back at somebody for petty things." said Cox's wife in describing her estranged husband's character.

But Brian Cox's brother Kerry told KIRO-7 he believes his brother is innocent.

"I can't see my brother even in jest asking somebody to do something like this; it's just not within his nature," said Kerry Cox.

Kerry Cox believes his brother's estranged wife may have tried to set Brian up. "I wouldn't put it past her to try and recruit other people to try and make these accusations."

Only KIRO-7 News was there as Brian Cox was taken into custody. He told KIRO-7 "I did nothing wrong." and "I'm being set up as usual."

Prosecutors however say they have a recording of Brian Cox trying to set up the murder of his wife. It was enough to convince a Thurston County judge Wednesday to hold Cox on $800,000 bail.