A Lamar man's guilty plea to a federal arson charge was accepted Monday following a 14-minute session in U. S. District Court in Springfield.
Winston Holt, 59, admitted to being involved in a scheme to kill Landon Hackler, Lamar, by planting a pipe bomb in Hackler's truck. The scheme was purportedly concocted by Arvon Swanberg, 67, Lamar, who has already been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, and Swanberg's wife, Karen Cross Swanberg. The murder attempt came as the result of a child custody dispute, according to a news release from U. S. Attorney Todd Graves.
The change in plea came after an agreement was reached between Holt and the U. S. Attorney's office. Richard Monroe, the assistant U. S. attorney who is handling the case, will recommend a 10-year sentence for Holt. The judge is not bound to that recommendation.
A presentence investigation was ordered. Holt will remain in prison while awaiting sentencing.
More information about the case can be found in the May 23 Turner Report.