BALLSTON SPA -- A convicted rapist accused of trying to win his freedom by hiring a hit man admitted to the murder-for-hire plot Wednesday.
As a result of his guilty plea to second-degree conspiracy, Kyle Shultz, 20, will be sentenced to more than double the 16-year term he originally faced for the rape.
In court Wednesday, he admitted that, while housed at the Saratoga County Jail in March, he met with a visitor he believed to be a hit man and asked to have the witness in his underlying rape case killed.
In return for his plea, Shultz is to be sentenced next month to an extra 17 to 27 years in prison -- for a total of 33 years to 43 years.
The investigation into Shultz's plot began with a tip. Wednesday's court appearance outlined the plot further.
Shultz offered the person he believed was a hit man $10,000 to kill the witness and wrote the witness's name on a piece of paper, which he gave to the visitor. He also described in detail how he wanted the witness killed.
The "hit man" was an undercover police officer.
"Did you ask a person to commit the Class-A felony of murder?" Judge James A. Murphy III asked Shultz on Wednesday.
"Yes, your honor," Shultz responded.
He also admitted to speaking of the plot with at least one other person.
Sheriff's investigators determined Shultz hoped the death of the witness would weaken the rape case, and that he'd be allowed to take back his guilty plea and either be freed or get a better deal.
Defendants, however, are only allowed to take back pleas under specific circumstances, generally related to how the plea was completed in court, not the life status of witnesses.
Shultz and another man, Dylan E. Kelly, were charged with rape a year ago, after the men were accused of raping a woman in Moreau and then robbing her.
Investigators said the men encountered the 41-year-old Queensbury woman while walking in the area of Ferry Boulevard early on May 16. After socializing briefly with her, Shultz and Kelly raped her before stealing her credit cards and driver’s license, deputies said.
Kelly was not implicated in the murder plot. He pleaded guilty to rape last month and is to be sentenced to 14.5 years in state prison.
Shultz' lengthy new term came, in part, because those awaiting sentencing on plea deals are told to remain arrest-free between the time of their plea and the day of their sentencing. Any new arrest allows for longer-than-typical sentences for the crimes.
Shultz received an extra seven years in the rape case, a total of 20 years in all, due to the new conviction. He will be sentenced to an additional 10 to 20 years on the conspiracy conviction. An added three years for a jail assault was not lengthened.