Giddings Man Arrested for Alleged Murder-for-Hire Plot

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

A Giddings man is charged with plotting to hire a hit man to kill his wife and the man he claimed was having an affair with his wife. But he didn't know that the man he allegedly tried to hire was an undercover agent with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

A conversation took a wrong turn; consequently, spinning out of control for 52-year-old Dale Erwin Arldt of Giddings. Affidavits from January 13, 2012 say Arldt met up with an undercover agent in Giddings to talk about a plan. That plan allegedly included $5,000 that would pay a hit-man to murder his wife and the man Arldt believed she was having an affair with.

In the report, the undercover agent says Arldt agreed to provide a 12 gauge shotgun -- and during the alleged conversation -- the two would meet up and test it out -- before firing the round that would ultimately kill his wife.

The shotgun listed in the affidavit belongs to Arldt's adoptive father; E.A. Arldt -- And he's the first to admit -- his son is not perfect.

"He is not a fella that takes care of stuff," said E.A. Arldt. "That's the reason why I told him he's not going to inherit this place."

But after raising his adopted son -- he says he knows when his son Dale isn't being honest.

"When he's telling you the truth he'll look you in the eyes-- and when he's lying -- he looks away," said Arldt.

Arldt was arrested in January for the alleged conversation with the undercover agent. He and his wife divorced in February; and she allegedly remarried not too far after on April 27, 2012. It's a series of events that leads Dale Arldt's parents to believe their son was set up.

"I have no doubts it's a lie and was set up,” said Arldt.

They haven't seen their son since his arrest in January -- but Arldt says the details of the alleged plot don’t add up.

“I don’t have 12-gauge shotgun, it’s a 16-gauge, and Dale has had that gun for forever, ever since he took it from me without me knowing,” said Arldt. "But it's a 16-gauge and I know that."

Arldt's bond is set at $380,000. While Arldt's fate lies in the hands of the state -- his parents say there is nothing to do -- but keep their faith alive.

“Life happens like that; we pray about it and that's about all we can do," said Arldt.

Dale Arldt has since been indicted for solicitation of capital murder. He remains in the Bastrop County jail.

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