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Suspect offered man $25K to ‘watch him put bullet' in ex's head, affidavit says

The Travis County Sheriff's Office alleges Keith James Cote, 62, offered an acquaintance $10,000 to kill his ex-girlfriend. He has been charged with criminal solicitation (to commit capital murder).
Keith James Cote booking photo.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas – Authorities have released more information in an alleged murder-for-hire plot.

According to the arrest affidavit for 62-year-old Keith James Cote, he allegedly approached an acquaintance and his wife at a University of Texas tailgate on Oct. 7 and invited him to his house the next day “to talk with him about something very serious.” The acquaintance and his wife told deputies that at Cote’s home, he asked them if he knew how to get a gun and a silencer, and the affidavit states that Cote told the acquaintance and his wife he wanted to “kill his ex-girlfriend because she is dating a black guy.” Cote allegedly offered $10,000 for the acquaintance to kill the would-be victim, and offered an additional $15,000 “to watch him put a bullet in her head.” The affidavit also stated Cote provided the acquaintance with the best time and place to kill his ex.

According to the affidavit, the acquaintance initially dismissed the offer, but contacted the sheriff’s office after Cote allegedly called multiple times to see if the acquaintance was willing to take him up on his offer. Deputies noted in the affidavit that both the acquaintance and his wife were troubled by Cote’s request, and that the acquaintance would be willing to assist in the investigation.

The affidavit states a sheriff’s detective contacted the alleged target, and learned from her that she had an abusive relationship with Cote, had not heard from him in more than a year, but was still afraid of him. The woman also described Cote as “independently wealthy” from working in the oil industry and allegedly committing insurance fraud, according to the affidavit.

The sheriff’s office said they conducted surveillance on a meeting between Cote and his acquaintance, during which he allegedly described placed to hide his truck and routes he should take when killing his ex-girlfriend. During the meeting, Cote allegedly repeated numerous times that "this ain't about revenge, it's about the reckoning."

Cote was booked into the Travis County Jail on Oct. 23 on a felony charge of criminal solicitation (to commit capital murder). TCSO and court documents state his bond has been set at $1 million.

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