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WCCO Talks With Murder-For-Hire Suspect Before Arrest

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A Columbia Heights man is in jail Wednesday night, accused of hiring someone to murder a former business partner.

Investigators say 62-year-old Kevin Condren had threatened the victim before over a $150-thousand dollar business deal gone bad. They say he offered an undercover agent $7,000 to shoot and kill the man.

"Disturbing to your senses that he was going to hire somebody to murder someone else," said Commander Paul Sommer of the Anoka County Sheriff's office.

Investigators said Condren was detailed and persistent in his plans to have the man killed.

"His intent is very clear if you read the complaint," said Sommer.

According to the criminal complaint, in December, Condren met with an undercover agent whom he thought was a hired hitman. Condren allegedly offered to pay $7,000, and told the undercover he wanted the man shot and killed in August. The complaint said Condren planned to move to Vietnam then, and didn't want the man killed before out of fear of retaliation from his friends.

"So in this particular case some time was invested, several meetings held to really build the foundation that his intent was true," said Sommer.

The complaint said Condren even suggested the undercover buy a high-powered rifle due to the man's size. He allegedly stated, "just put it in his ear and pull the trigger."

Condren was home when WCCO stopped by his place Wednesday night. He invited reporter John Lauritsen inside and said he wasn't aware of the warrant for his arrest, but he did make a comment about the man he was allegedly conspiring to kill.

"I'll say one thing -- the guy I had a disagreement with is a killer," Condren said.

A short time after Lauritsen talked with Condren, police arrested him inside his home. He's in custody in the Anoka County jail, and faces a felony count of conspiring to commit murder.

Police said they believe Condren had plans to leave for China on April 24.

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