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May 17, 2013 6:27 PM by Josh Breslow

Topix Post Leads To Southern Kentucky Murder-For-Hire Arrest

A Whitley County man is charged in connection with an online murder-for-hire plot that apparently targeted a former southern Kentucky news personality.

A judge Friday denied bond to Tristan Hall, calling the 29-year-old a "danger to the public." He was arrested Thursday afternoon and charged with solicitation to commit murder.

The arrest stems from a situation on January 10, when a post appeared in the Corbin forum on the popular website, Topix. According to a warrant, a user by the name of "Serious As A Heart Attack" offered "$5,000 cash for the murder and concealment of Melissa Jones (aka Melissa Davis') body." The document claims the poster even listed an e-mail address where he could be reached if anyone was "up for the task."

"It makes you think, no matter where you are, you're not really safe," said Scott Kral, the suspect's neighbor. "My car battery died and he helped me jump my car. We were talking a little bit and he said, 'if you ever want a beer just come on over.' He seemed normal to me."

State Police hope the situation will serve as a warning that whatever you post on a site like Topix can only stay anonymous for so long.

"Everything you do on the internet leaves a trail, and we can find you, given the right amount of time," said Trooper Don Trosper with Kentucky State Police.

Investigators have said they have found no evidence that the suspect and the victim knew each other.

Tristan Hall declined LEX 18's request for an interview from the Whitley County Detention Center. No word on when he is expected in court for arraignment.


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