A jail inmate who authorities say did not want his family to testify against him at his child molestation trial is accused of trying to hire someone to set fire to his home with his family inside.
Eric William Weeks, 36, of Davenport tried to carry out his plot by mailing a map showing the floor plan of his home with instructions, authorities said. Then he called the person he mailed the map to and confirmed his scheme.
He didn’t know the person on the other end of the line was an undercover Scott County sheriff’s deputy.
“We picked up on it and ran with it,” Scott County Sheriff’s Lt. Bryce Schmidt said of the sting operation that led to new charges Friday. “He thought he was talking to someone on the outside. He was really calling a detective.”
Weeks now faces three Class C felony charges of solicitation to commit murder, conspiracy to commit a forcible felony of murder and conspiracy to commit a forcible felony of arson.
Weeks has been in the Scott County Jail for a year. He allegedly was putting the word out to other inmates that he wanted to hire someone to kill his wife and children, and the sheriff’s office caught on to the plan, Schmidt said.
When he found someone he thought he could trust, he mailed the instructions and floor plan that included a list of valuables and their location in the home, according to an arrest affidavit. He said payment would be the contents that could be stolen from the home and the $20,000 insurance settlement from the fire, the affidavit states.
“There was no question in our minds he wanted this done,” Schmidt said.
Weeks’ original trial is set to begin March 11 on charges related to 10 criminal sexual acts, including two counts of second-degree sex abuse, three counts of third-degree sex abuse, two counts of lascivious acts with a child and enticing a minor under 16.
The incidents date as far back as May 8, 2006, and continued until the time of his arrest Feb. 6, 2012.
Second-degree sex abuse is a Class B felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years on each count. Third-degree sex abuse and lascivious acts with a child each is a Class C felony that carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
With the new charges, his total bond is $100,000 cash only.