Tipster speaks out about murder-for-hire scheme - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Tipster speaks out about murder-for-hire scheme

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NORTH LIBERTY (KWWL) -

An Iowa man accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill a family of four, is now awaiting his trial.

We are hearing from the man who says, he lead police to Justin DeWitt.

36-year-old DeWitt of North Liberty is facing charges of Attempted Murder.

Police say DeWitt offered $1,000 as a down payment to an undercover agent to carry out the murder of a man, his wife and their two children ages four and two.

The tipster, Ron Robi has spent 35 years of his life in prison for crimes of his own, he says coming forward with the information was in some way redemption.

Robi allowed us to listen to a recording he took of a conversation he had with DeWitt, one he turned into police.

"They thinking the fire thing?" DeWitt can allegedly be heard saying.

"I don't know what they're thinking I'm thinking that they're just going to go in and f*****g do it and get er' done," Robi can be heard replying.

Robi told us he believes DeWitt felt comfortable coming to him because he had once been in prison.

He says DeWitt first mentioned his plan to kill the family, more than a year ago.

"Do you know anybody that would kill anybody? I said well that's kind of a yeah I know a lot of people that would kill, in fact I know a lot of murders I did a lot of time in Fort Madison yes I know a lot of them," Robi said, describing the initial conversation.

Robi says he played along and DeWitt even drove him by the families home at one point to scout it out, it was there he saw the young children playing outside.

"I saw them all and from that point on it was like no way am I gonna let this get out of my control," Robi told us.

He says DeWitt had a plan.

"He wanted them all burned all of the evidence would be gone."

Robi says it was all over a bad business deal worth thousands of dollars.

"He didn't want to lose that account and so he wanted the guy off'd."

When he could tell DeWitt was serious, Robi says, he chose to record a conversation with him on his phone.

"Because of my reputation because of my credibility issue I taped it all," he says.

"If you read my past and then you read or had seen this interview you wouldn't have that bad of an opinion of me at that point I don't think, I think, yeah he did something right in his life," Robi told us.

He said he thought speaking with KWWL would bring more awareness for his families safety.

Robi says he thought when he came forward his name would be kept quiet, but that it was somehow leaked, now he is concerned for his wife's safety.

Justin DeWitt is set to go to trial this Fall.

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