Former Houston cop busted in murder-for-hire plot

A former Houston police officer was arrested Wednesday night, accused of trying to have his estranged wife killed in a murder-for-hire plot.

"We're very proud of the work our officers did on this case," said Lt. James Holt of the Pasadena Police Department at a press conference Thursday.

Police say 63-year old Clarence McNatt spent time in the 80's and 90's with Houston, Ames and Clear Lake Shores police departments. On Thursday, McNatt appeared in court for allegedly attempting to hire somebody to kidnap and sexually assault two females, one of which being his estranged spouse. Police say his plot also involved killing one of the victims.

It's a tip investigators received in early November. Over the coming weeks, two undercover Pasadena detectives would pose as hit men and meet with McNatt in a Target and Kohls shopping plaza parking lot. It's there that they learned his motivation.

"He wanted to know why his spouse had left him," said Holt. "He believed his spouse had left him for another person."

Police say they are investigating whether the 31-year old woman also targeted in McNatt's plot was the person McNatt believed to have been romantically involved with his estranged wife.

One might think a former cop would be hard to catch in the act, but police say McNatt revealed all.

"He did have a plan in place of how this was to be carried out, and he relayed that information to the undercover officers," said Holt.

Upon his arrest, police say they found items in McNatt's vehicle which could have been used for binding and torture. Police would not say what they found inside McNatt's Pasadena home, which had been raided since his arrest.

But police would say McNatt's asking price for two kidnappings, two sexual assaults and a capital murder, were "pretty cheap, and pretty disgusting."

"[McNatt] initially agreed to pay $500 for these acts to be carried out. He later produced $100 cash and three gold rings with various stones as payment for these acts," said Holt. McNatt claimed the rings were valued at $500 according to the undercover detectives.

Pasadena police emphasized they were extremely proud of the swift work done by the undercover officers in this case.

Clarence McNatt is now being held in custody at the Harris County Jail awaiting trial for charges of solicitation of capitol murder and two counts of solicitation of aggravated kidnapping with intent to commit sexual assault. The identity of his estranged wife and the second potential victim have not yet been confirmed by police