News

Wife may have tried to hire hit on hubby

By ERICA HALL

The Mirror

A Tacoma woman was arrested at a Federal Way hotel last week on suspicion of trying to hire an undercover Kent Police detective to kill her husband.

Facing a serious domestic violence offense, Erika Bedish, 27, will be charged with first-degree solicitation to commit murder, which carries a sentence up to 20 years. Arraignment has been scheduled for Feb. 28.

Bedish allegedly tried to use a man identified as her lover, Robert "Lucky" Houston, to connect her with a hit-man who would kill her husband, Paul Bedish, who she said mistreated her.

Bedish allegedly told Houston she'd pay a hit-man $25,000 to pull it off, but she didn't want it done in sight of their 1-year-old son and she wanted advance warning so she could arrange an alibi, according to authorities.

King County prosecutors asked for bail to be set at $1 million, who was arrested Feb. 11 at a Federal Way hotel where she allegedly finalized a hit with an undercover police detective.

Houston told police he'd met Bedish in 1996, and the two had an on-again, off-again intimate relationship since then. He said she married Paul Bedish three years ago, but about 18 months ago began telling Houston she wanted her husband dead, authorities reported.

Kent Police arrested Houston last November for delivery of cocaine, according to charging papers. Houston gave up Bedish's name and told officers she'd asked him as many as 48 times over the past 18 months to kill her husband himself or find someone else to do it. He alleged she told him she was tired of being married to Paul Bedish but didn't want to divorce him because that would upset her parents.

She'd given Houston a photo of her husband with his work schedule printed on the back, which Houston gave to the police.

According to authorities, Houston said Bedish told him she'd get insurance money from Paul's employer once he was dead, which the two of them could use to buy a house. Houston told police she wasn't worried about her conscience, but she didn't want to get caught.

On Feb. 8, Houston told a Kent Police detective he'd had three conversations in three days with Bedish about killing her husband and she was growing increasingly persistent. The next day, Houston –– in the presence of police –– called her at home and spoke with her on a speaker about arranging a hit.

During the phone conversation, Bedish allegedly confirmed she wouldn't be able to pay up front, but she'd have the money after her husband's insurance was paid out.

On Feb. 10, the undercover detective, posing as a hit-man named Dave, called Bedish and worked out the details of how much she would pay for her husband's murder. Bedish said she had a tennis bracelet she could use as a down payment, according to police, and she gave the undercover detective her husband's work schedule and the route he drove to and from work.

The next day, Houston, Bedish and the undercover detective met at a hotel in Federal Way. According to prosecutors, Bedish said she wanted to wait another month or two because she suspected her husband had other assets she wanted to uncover before proceeding, and that once she found the assets, she could pay $10,000 up front. When the fake hit-man told her the delay would bump the price up to $25,000, she agreed and said she still wanted to go through with it, authorities said. They said she gave him a picture of her husband, wrote down his work schedule and gave the the tennis bracelet as collateral.

She was arrested without incident at the hotel, but allegedly said she'd asked to wait a month because she had changed her mind and didn't want her husband killed.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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