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Wortman sentenced to 30 years


A Collierville lawyer has pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to kill his wife in separate incidents and has been sentenced to 30 years in prison, Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich and Dist. Atty. Gen. Michael Dunavant of Fayette County said Tuesday.
In criminal cases filed in Shelby and Fayette counties, Fred Auston Wortman III pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted first-degree murder and one count of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
Wortman, 39, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on each of the attempted murder cases, and to eight years for the solicitation case.
The sentences are to be served concurrently in the Tennessee Department of Correction. He will be eligible to be considered for parole after serving 30 percent or about nine years, but parole is not guaranteed.
The settlement was approved by Weirich and Dunavant of the 25th Judicial District, which includes Fayette County, and by Asst. Dist. Attys. Paul Hagerman and Neal Oldham of Shelby County and Mark Davidson of Fayette County.
Circuit Court Judge J. Weber McCraw in Fayette County and Criminal Court Judge Bobby Carter in Shelby County accepted the negotiated pleas this week.
The cases were investigated by the Collierville Police Department and by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
Wortman was indicted in June in Shelby County for allegedly putting poison in his wife’s toothpaste between Dec. 1, 2014, and Jan. 16 of this year.
He was arrested on June 5 in Fayette County where he was charged with attempting to hire a hitman to kill his wife. The hitman actually was an undercover TBI agent.
While in jail, authorities said, Wortman tried to solicit a fellow prisoner to murder his wife.
Wortman has been in custody since then on $15 million bond.

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