Lufkin book store owner in kidnapping plot tries to withdraw plea but changes mind

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A Lufkin man has withdrawn his request to withdraw his guilty plea in a kidnapping-for-hire plot.

In a handwritten letter dated May 9, Jason McLaughlin, 47, stated he entered his plea "under duress and in error." He stated he could not make an informed decision because he was not allowed to examine all the evidence in the case.

McLaughlin pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit a crime of violence on May 5. Authorities say McLaughlin hired someone to kidnap a man and bring him from Louisiana to Texas. Once here in Texas, McLaughlin had plans to kill the kidnapped man himself, according to his initial arrest affidavit.

The victim was McLaughlin's ex-wife's current boyfriend.

Before his arrest, McLaughlin owned and ran The Thrifty Book Nut book store on Chestnut Drive in Lufkin.

After McLaughlin's letter was filed in the federal docket, his attorney, Al Charanza, filed a response, stating McLaughlin had six hours to review videos and audio recordings provided by the government before he decided to enter his plea.

Court records show McLaughlin announced Wednesday he would go forward with his plea.

A date for his sentencing has not yet been set.

Copyright 2016 KTRE. All rights reserved.