A Monroe man is in custody for allegedly attempting to hire someone to kill his wife and young daughter, offering to split the life insurance payout.
Jeffery Lytle, 42, made his first appearance in Snohomish County Superior Court on Thursday, Feb. 9. He was arrested the day before on two counts of investigation of criminal solicitation for murder in the first degree.
According to court documents, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office initiated an investigation into Lytle after being contacted by a former employer on Tuesday, who said he received a disturbing text from the Monroe man that appeared to be intended for someone else.
"Hey Shayne hows it going. You remember you said that you would help me kill my wife,” the text reportedly states. “I'm going to take you up on that offer. (Wife’s) life insurance is worth 1 million and if you want a bounes (sic) you can kill (daughter). Her life insurance is 500k. I go to work 5 in the morning. (Wife) goes to work at 2:00pm so if you can make a robbery gone wrong or make it a accident she works at walmart she gets off at 11:00. I'll split everything with the insurance 50/50. Please call or text me please."
Deputies contacted Lytle’s wife at work. She confirmed being married to Lytle for seven years and having a 4-year-old daughter together. She also confirmed the existence of a family life insurance policy, and that there have been financial issues with her husband out of work, according to court documents. She did not believe there were any marital issue that would cause her husband to want to kill her.
Lytle was contacted at their family residence, where he confirmed his cellphone number for deputies and his former employer who called law enforcement. Court documents state Lytle first denied sending a text, but then said he wrote the text to vent about his wife, but didn’t send it to anyone. He also allegedly denied any life insurance policies being in effect.
Deputies took Lytle to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit for further questioning.
Lytle allegedly told investigators he had saved drafts of the message, which he wrote several months ago because of a fight he’d had with his wife over his talking with another woman, according to court documents. He thought his 4-year-old daughter must have sent it.
Court documents state Lytle did explain how a botched robbery scenario might play out, with the victims being shot in the home and items being taken. He allegedly told police “Shayne” is just a name he uses, and not a real person.
“Jeffery was mostly emotionless during the interview,” the probable cause report states.
A search warrant was requested for Lytle’s residence, in order to access his cellphone and any paperwork related to a life insurance policy. The Monroe Police Department took over the investigation Tuesday night, and served the warrant. Monroe Police administrative director Debbie Willis tells the Monitor the cellphone had not yet been processed as of Friday, and investigators are still searching for evidence of life insurance policies.