Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pastor charged with child molestation, and conspiracy to commit murder

Johnson County - A former youth pastor facing child molestation charges has now been charged with conspiracy to commit murder.

Jonathan Hartman is accused of having sex with three teen girls at the Salvation Army Church in Greenwood. One of the girls came forward last year saying she was pregnant.

A Franklin judge entered a not guilty plea for Hartman Tuesday.

On Thursday, Johnson County prosecutor Brad Cooper formally charged Hartman with conspiracy to commit murder, a Class A felony.

Hartman is accused of approaching a fellow inmate and asking the inmate to kill the witnesses in the case against Hartman. The inmate told the Johnson County prosecutor's office, who informed the sheriff.

The new charges against Hartman follow a month-long investigation. Hartman is also accused of trying to arrange the killing of the child of one of the witnesses which Hartman believed to be his.

The prosecutor says Hartman allegedly arranged for a friend to release a gun to the co-conspirator inmate on his release. The gun was to be used in the killings and serve as a down payment for the killings. Hartman is also accused of offering to pay $50,000 to the co-conspirator upon completion of the killings.

Hartman remains in jail while he awaits trial on the sex misconduct cases. He's being held without bond in the Johnson County Jail.

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