Man accused of trying to hire hit man to kill judge in his child porn case

Robert Anthony O'Hare arrested in Lake County for child porn

By Melodi Smith - Multimedia Journalist, Erik Sandoval - Reporter

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County man who was being held on child porn charges after being accused of using gifts given to neighborhood children to watch them undress inside their own homes now faces additional charges in a murder-for-hire plot to kill the judge presiding over his case.

"As far as the weird scale goes, it’s off the charts, totally," said Lt. John Herrell with the Lake County Sheriff's Office. 

Deputies released documents stating that Robert Anthony O'Hare asked his mother during a recorded jail line phone call Jan. 7 to give his friend a message. 

"During a phone conversation with his mother, he passed along a set of numbers that ended up being a secret code that they would use to send back and forth," Herrell said.

He said O'Hare and his mother first used this code in November 2017 and the Jan. 7 message said "Kill Briggs," apparently a reference to killing Circuit Judge Don F. Briggs. During the recorded line, the two stated their disagreement with Briggs' ruling regarding a motion to suppress in O'Hare's case.

During the conversation, O'Hare asked his mother to write something down and give it to a friend he calls " the rabbi," O'Hare told his mother that "the rabbi" will know what to do according to documents. 

More than 13 minutes into the phone call, O'Hare asked his mom to do something for him. 

 “Write that down on a piece of paper and then you show it … then you … put it in your wallet.” His mother advised she has “already deciphered it.” 

“So when I get off the phone, call 'rabbi' and uh ... just tell him, alright? Maybe you guys can go have lunch sometime ... and then you know, you could, you will understand what I’m trying to get to," O'Hare instructed his mother. 

An additional phone call between O'Hare and his mother was recorded the next day after O'Hare entered a plea agreement. The mother told her son that she spoke to the "rabbi" and “he knows what you want ... but he can’t do it, he’s just a 'rabbi,'" according to court records. 

Deputies spoke to the man referred to as the "rabbi" and told them that he was not solicited by either O'Hare or his mother in the murder-for-hire plot.

But he did tell deputies that he was handed a piece of paper outside the courtroom with numbers on a piece of paper, which he says he threw away. 

News 6 asked investigators if O'Hare's mother could now also be facing charges with her son.

"I can tell you that detectives are looking at her, and they’re going to continue to investigate this," Herrell said.

O'Hare was sentenced to 20 years in the  Department of Corrections on the child porn charges and voyeurism.

If convicted of solicitation to commit murder, he could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

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