Charleston Mayor Wants Prosecutor Removed from Police Murder-for-Hire Case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston Mayor Danny Jones is requesting Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants remove himself from the murder-for-hire case centered around Police Lt. Steve Cooper.

"Plants doesn't like Cooper," Mayor Jones said at Monday night's finance meeting ahead of the regularly scheduled council meeting.

Jones pointed out that the case needs to be investigated by a different office entirely.

Last week, Darrell Carter was arrested and charged with ordering a hit on Cooper, who is the chief of detectives for the CPD. Carter was unhappy with the way Cooper handled two shooting cases he was involved with.

Since then Cooper has been given extra protection for himself and his family.

Jones said he is calling for Plants to step aside because this case is very important, and he wants to makes sure there are no distractions while the case is handled.

"We want to make sure this case gets taken care of without any inference of a distraction, and that's why we would like somebody else besides that office to handle it," Jones said.

Plants issued the following statement:

"This is just another attempt by Danny Jones to play politics. There is no basis in law or logic to Mr. Jones' statement. Solicitation of Murder is a very serious crime, a suspect that would allegedly hire someone to murder a law enforcement officer is particularly dangerous. My office is committed to seeking justice on behalf of all crime victims, and I will prosecute this case based on the evidence to the fullest extent of the law, just like any other case."

Plants went on to say, "This is the first I have heard Danny Jones had an issue with regard to this case. I would suspect if Mr. Jones had a legitimate concern, he would contact my office -- not run to the media."

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