Stroudsburg, Pa. – A Pennsylvania police officer pleaded guilty Dec. 20 for blackmailing his wife to stay married to him.
On the same day, the officer’s wife pleaded guilty to trying to hire a man to kill her husband.
Bushkill Township Officer Keith Transue pleaded guilty in Monroe County Court to criminal coercion, a second-degree misdemeanor, for telling his wife he would reveal that she had been having sex with a 14-year-old boy if she left him, according to The Morning Call.
His wife, Robin Transue, pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit aggravated assault and statutory sexual assault, both of which are felonies.
Court documents said Robin Transue asked a family friend to kill her husband because he was trying to blackmail her.
Instead of going along with the plan, the would-be hitman wore a recording device for police, and taped conversions he had with Robin Transue.
“Mrs. Transue freely talked about arranging for her husband’s murder. All kinds of potential death scenarios were discussed,” Monroe County First Assistant District Attorney Michael Mancuso said in a statement.
She was heard suggesting tampering with her husband’s vehicle and giving him medicine that would induce a heart attack, authorities said.
Robin Transue told her friend the best way would be for the couple’s house to catch fire with her husband inside, because then she’d receive $250,000 in insurance, according to police reports.
While detectives were investigating her plot to kill her husband, they learned she’d repeatedly has sex with a 14-year-old boy, according to court records.
Officer Transue failed to report the crime, which happened about six years ago, and was backed up by the boy’s father, court records stated. As a police officer, he was legally obligated to report it, prosecutors said.
“Transue was using his wife’s crime to keep her from leaving or divorcing him. This in turn was essentially the motive for Robin soliciting Keith’s murder,” Mancuso said.
Mancuso applauded the friend who came forward and cooperated with police, saying he “likely prevented a homicide and also brought to light a sordid history of sexual assault and criminal coercion.”
Keith Transue joined the Bushkill Township Police Department in 2005. He was placed on administrative leave when he was arrested in May.
Police Chief Mike McLouth said Wednesday said the officer had submitted a resignation letter, according to The Washington Post.