Federal judge mulls Florida man's bid to withdraw NE Pa. plea in murder-for-hire case

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WILKES-BARRE, Pennsylvania — A federal judge will decide whether a Florida man can withdraw his guilty plea in what authorities allege was an attempt to hire a northeastern Pennsylvania man to kill his ex-wife.

Sixty-four-year-old Edward McLaughlin of Cape Coral, Florida, pleaded guilty last fall in federal court in Wilkes-Barre to conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire and weapons-related charges.

Prosecutors allege that in 2011 he promised his Pike County cellmate a $50,000-a-year job for the slaying and later shipped him a rifle from Florida. Another man was convicted last summer in the case.

The (Scranton) Times-Tribune (http://bit.ly/TUBdOE ) reports that McLaughlin says he was persuaded to enter the plea with the promise that allegations he had made against his ex-wife would be investigated. His attorney testified Wednesday that no such promise was made.

Information from: The Times-Tribune, http://thetimes-tribune.com/

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