DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A murder-for-hire plot in Chester County quickly unraveled after the hitman reported the incident to police. What’s even more shocking is the person behind the alleged crime is a former pastor.
Police say the former pastor of Calvary Fellowship in Downingtown wanted the current head pastor killed. The motive was revenge.
Jacob Malone was used to speaking in front of cameras while working as a pastor at Calvary Fellowship, a megachurch in Downingtown.
But Malone recently stood in front of a police camera for his mugshot after authorities say he offered a hitman $5,000 to kill his former boss and head of the church, Pastor Lee Wiggins.
“Our hearts continue to go out to Jacob Malone, we continue to pray for him,” Calvary Fellowship spokesperson Pastor Mike Edelman said.
Officers arrested Malone on Tuesday but it’s not his first run-in with police involving his own church.
Court documents show Malone pleaded guilty in 2017 to sexually assaulting and impregnating a 16-year-old girl. The church had reported him to police before his arrest.
Malone was serving a three- to six-year sentence when he allegedly told an inmate, “You seem like the person to find someone for me.”
He later offered the inmate the $5,000 to killed Pastor Wiggins and offered even more money to kill a Chester County judge who sent him to prison.
Instead, the inmate told police about the murder-for-hire scheme.
People Eyewitness News talked to are shocked.
“To do that is just wrong,” said one person.
“They’re not following biblical principles,” said another.
While the church is in a forgiving spirit, Malone appears to be less so.