Couple pleads guilty to hiring hit man

By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (Raycom News Network) -  Cathryn Lake and her boyfriend, Rudolph Regalado, were both sentenced to 20 years in prison for trying to hire a hit man to kill Lake's husband, Doug Lake.

Last April, a hidden camera captured the $75,000 hit as it was ordered inside an undercover ATF facility in Dallas.

The video shows Mrs. Lake and Regalado entering, what they thought to be, the hit man's office and introducing themselves.

During the meeting you can hear the undercover officer ask, "You don't mind if your husband ends up getting killed?"

Mrs. Lake responded it was something she'd have to deal with.  "Yes, I can live with that," she said.

"I'm not going to say what's right or wrong, He's my judge," said Regalado, pointing toward the ceiling.

During that same meeting, Lake and Regalado agreed that a .25 caliber handgun was the best way to kill Mr. Lake.

"I figured right on his head," said Regalado, chuckling.  Mrs. Lake later likens the bullet inside of her husband's head to a pachinko machine.  "Ping, ping, ping, ping," she said.

"I believe Mr. Lake would have been murdered," said April Sikes, Assistant Smith County District Attorney.

Sikes said Mrs. Lake was after her husband's $150,000 life insurance policy - half of that would go to the hit man.

Sikes said Mrs. Lake was scheduled to have surgery, last May.  In fact, it comes up during her meeting with the undercover agent.  Sikes said she was going to increase the amount of her policy, and conveniently urged her husband to do the same.

Regalado, a former prison guard for Tennessee Colony, was escorted into court in handcuffs.

Sikes said, interestingly enough, Tennessee Colony is where the plot began.

"Mrs. Lake provided a story that Doug Lake, her husband, was a snitch for a criminal street gang," said Sikes.

Sikes said Regalado took that info to an inmate inside the prison, thinking the inmate was a member of the alleged street gang.  Regalado hoped the inmate would use his connections on the street to have the hit carried out for free.

But Sikes said the inmate notified police instead.  That's when the undercover operation began, in the fall of 2008.

With the help of the inmate, and undercover agents, the couple was contacted in a letter by their "hit man".  Several weeks later, the two met with their "hit man" at a south Tyler restaurant, and handed over the murder weapon--a .25 caliber gun.

Once the weapon exchanged hands, last May, the operation was called off, and the two were arrested within days.

Mr. Lake expressed his feelings from the witness stand, Monday morning.

"If this case against your wife was dismissed, that would be something you'd want? Is that fair?" asked Matt Bingham, Smith County District Attorney.

"Yes sir," Doug Lake replied.

Lake also testified that he'd petitioned for a divorce, but that petition has been dropped.

Cathryn Lake and Rudy Regalado will be eligible for parole in 10 years.

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