A California man charged with breaking into his estranged wife's apartment in Layton in October and assaulting her has pleaded not guilty to a new charge of conspiracy to commit murder after detectives said he tried to arrange to have the woman killed from the county jail.
Terry M. Dexter, 43, Apple Valley, Calif., was arrested by Layton police Oct. 10 and charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated assault. Police said he broke into the woman's apartment, armed with a gun, and a fight ensued.Dexter was wounded in the fight and fled the scene, police said, but he was found and arrested a short time later.
While Dexter was held in the county jail, detectives said they were told he was looking for someone to kill his wife, and they arranged for an undercover agent from the county's narcotics strike force to contact him.
After Dexter arranged for a payment to the agent to have his wife killed, detectives said, he was charged with conspiracy to commit murder. That charge and the aggravated burglary charge are both first-degree felonies, carrying prison terms of five years to life.
Because a gun was involved, the aggravated burglary charge also carries a five-year prison term enhancement. The aggravated assault charge is a third-degree felony, with a zero-to-five-year term.
Dexter was arraigned on the first two charges in October, and defense attorney Scott Holt requested a mental evaluation at the Utah State Hospital. That evaluation determined Dexter is competent to stand trial and understands the charges against him, according to court records.
In his arraignment Tuesday in 2nd District Court on the conspiracy charge, Dexter pleaded not guilty.
A Feb. 6 trial date was set for the aggravated burglary and aggravated assault charge. Trial date for the murder conspiracy charge will be set pending the outcome of the first trial.