Horry County grand jury indicts two men in murder-for-hire plot against teen

troot@thesunnews.comFebruary 8, 2013 

— An Horry County grand jury indicted two men in a murder-for-hire plot last year against a Longs area teen, according to court records.

Travis Dean Messer, 18, of Little River and Timothy Scott Phelps, 37, of Wytheville, Va., were indicted on charges of criminal conspiracy to commit kidnapping; criminal conspiracy to commit murder; solicitation to commit murder and solicitation to commit kidnapping, according to indictments released Friday.

Messer was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center Aug. 24 and released hours later on $20,000 bail, according to jail records.

Phelps was booked into the jail on Oct. 14 on the charges and is being held without bail.

Police said the charges stemmed from Messer wanting to pay someone to kill a Longs area teen.

Messer initially contacted an unidentified person offering to pay for the kidnapping of an 18-year-old from Longs in July, according to a North Myrtle Beach department of public safety incident report.

Over several days, Messer contacted the person turned confidential informant saying that he wanted to both kidnap and kill the other teen for “several hundred dollars,” the report showed.

The victim and Messer are acquaintances and police did not say why Messer wanted to kidnap or kill the other teen, according to the report. The person Messer tried to hire contacted police about 3:30 a.m. July 21.

On July 26, the victim and his father were notified and a local agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation was contacted.

Police retrieved all text messages sent by Messer to the person he tried to hire. Police said the incident remains under investigation.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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