Former Charleston firefighter arrested again in murder-for-hire plot targeting wife

Former Charleston Fire Department Capt. Clinton Jones, 36, retired on a disability for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder related to the June 18, 2007 Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine of his colleagues. He is seen here in 2009. Jones has been indicted in a murder-for-hire plot.

After 20 years of marriage, Michelle Jones admitted their relationship wasn't perfect, but she had no idea her husband, Edward, wanted her dead, according to court records.

The week before investigators said Edward Clinton Jones, 41, of West Ashley tried hiring someone to have his wife killed, he called their insurance company to increase the payout, according to an affidavit filed by Michelle earlier this month in the pair's Family Court case.

Michelle Jones filed for separate maintenance and support from her husband shortly after he was arrested by Charleston police in January, court records show.

Jones, 41, was arrested again on Wednesday after being federally indicted this week, accused in the murder-for-hire plot targeting his wife.

Jones was facing a state charge of solicitation to commit murder after authorities said he attempted to hire an undercover police officer to kill his wife on Dec. 31, 2013. State prosecutors have said his plotting began at least eight months before the meeting that led to his arrest.

Jones was recorded by police trying to hire the undercover officer and telling him he wanted his wife killed on Jan. 1 where she worked on Ashley Crossing Drive, according to the warrant.

Jones told the undercover officer he wanted to be sure she was finished off because he didn't want to visit her in the hospital, the warrant stated.

They discussed a payment of $8,000 for the killing, and Jones provided a photo of his wife, the affidavit stated.

A witness also told police Jones had said he would use insurance money as payment for the murder, according to the warrant.

A federal indictment was filed against Jones Wednesday, according to court records.

He was charged with one count of solicitation to commit murder-for-hire and use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.

Jones went before a federal magistrate judge Thursday and entered a not guilty plea, according to court records.

Jones had previously been released on bail for the state charge.

He retired from a 19-year career with the Charleston Fire Department following the Sofa Super Store fire that killed nine firefighters.

Jones has been suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other mental and emotional effects since the fire, according to his attorney Leon Stravinakis, who made that statement during a previous bond hearing.

Michelle Jones also stated in her divorce affidavit that her husband is on permanent disability due to his PTSD.

Following his retirement, Edward Jones started a plumbing business and Michelle went back to work after spending several years as a stay-at-home mom to their four children, court documents stated.

Michelle Jones alleges her husband became verbally abusive during their marriage, her affidavit stated.

"He repeatedly humiliated me by calling me names and putting me down," she stated.

Michelle Jones said she was astonished and hurt after police played her a recording of her husband trying to make the deal to have her killed.

Since his arrest, Michelle Jones alleges Edward cleaned out their bank accounts and put them into debt, the affidavit stated.

"I am terrified of what the future holds," Jones stated in the affidavit. "I am also fearful that if Clinton gets out of jail, he will finish out his plan to murder me."

Michelle Jones will get the opportunity to express her concerns next week during his federal detention hearing, where a judge will determine what bail to set, according to court records.

Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or