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Attempted murder-for-hire case against Lynchburg man advances in court
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Attempted murder-for-hire case against Lynchburg man advances in court

An attempted murder-for-hire case involving a Lynchburg man who’s accused of trying to kill a woman he later was convicted of sexually assaulting will proceed to a higher court, a judge ruled Friday.

Lewis Wayne Womack, 57, is charged with soliciting another to commit murder and witness intimidation from statements he made in August while he had pending sexual assault charges, according to testimony in the case. He was arrested Aug. 17, the day after law enforcement received evidence, and appeared Friday in Lynchburg General District Court for a preliminary hearing on his new charges.

At the time Womack was sending messages that’d later lead to criminal charges, he was out of jail on bond awaiting trial on two counts of forcible sodomy and one count each of object sexual penetration and rape, court records show.

Womack started texting a man whom he’d heard about through someone else Aug. 5, according to testimony from Lynchburg Police Department Detective Rob Miller. Womack introduced himself by saying he was three weeks away from a trial and needed a “little help,” Miller read from his files.

Womack repeatedly asked the man to “scare,” “rough up” and “seriously hurt” the woman he’d been accused of raping, along with another person who’d likely be called as a witness in the rape case, Miller said.

“‘They ruined my career; they ruined my life,’” Miller recited from what he said were messages Womack sent.

Later in the conversation, Womack said he needed the victim to be “snubbed,” which Miller said meant “murdered,” and discussed an exchange for money, saying he only had $2,700.

The man Womack texted contacted police and turned over the messages on his phone, Miller said. Miller then tracked Womack using the ankle monitor he was wearing because of the pending rape case. Once officers found Womack, they seized his cellphone and found it had largely the same messages on it as the man’s phone.

In interviews following his arrest Aug. 17, Womack said he was going to stop the process that day and claimed “it wasn’t supposed to be murder,” according to Miller. Womack told Miller he was having trouble coming up with the money and was making excuses to back out of the deal.

Womack signed a plea deal in the sexual assault case Aug. 23, pleading to one count of forcible sodomy and object sexual penetration in exchange for prosecutors dropping the other sodomy count and the rape charge. He was sentenced to four years in prison and was ordered to have no contact with the two people he allegedly was trying to harm.

Judge Ellen White found probable cause to certify his new charges to the next meeting of a grand jury in Lynchburg, which is scheduled for Dec. 6.

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