Murder-for-hire Target Admits Defibrillator Theft

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BATON ROUGE, La. — A Texas man has pleaded guilty to stealing defibrillators from a Baton Rouge hurricane relief center, a plot that became more twisted when others involved in the plot talked about having him killed.

Rudy S. Adams of Beaumont could get up to 10 years in prison for his guilty plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court to one count of theft from a health-care benefit program.

Caddo Parish Fire Protection District 3 Chief Donovon McMullen Jr. of Bethany, pleaded guitly in June and faces up to 50 years and fines of more than $1 million as the ringleader.

McMullen dispatched medical units and transported supplies to crews from a Baton Rouge staging area after Hurricane Katrina, from September 2005 through March 2006.

Prosecutors say he and Michael Proveaux of Pineville, who pleaded guilty to the theft charge in February, stole 15 defibrillators owned by the state and delivered them to Adams for resale in Texas. Adams paid $500 to McMullen and cocaine to Proveaux, prosecutors said.

According to court documents, Adams began cooperating with the FBI in September 2006, and Proveaux three months later.

In February 2007, McMullen and Proveaux talked about killing Adams to keep him from cooperating with federal authorities. The following month, McMullen gave Proveaux a semi-automatic handgun with the serial number filed off, Hydra-Shok bullets and a disposable phone.

In a conversation taped by federal authorities, McMullen told Proveaux to tell the hit man to "just drive up beside him and pop pop another drug deal gone bad."

Days later, Proveaux called McMullen to tell him Adams was dead.

McMullen pleaded guilty in June to one count of theft from a health program and two of attempted murder of a federal witness.