Man accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill attorneys

BROOKSVILLE -- Deputies have arrested a man they think attempted to pay someone to kill the prosecutor and public defender in his ongoing molestation case.

William Peter Faiella Jr., 29, of Brooksville, was charged with two counts of solicitation to commit murder.

His intended victims were Assistant State Attorney Lisa Herndon and defense attorney Devon Sharkey, authorities said.

On Tuesday, Faiella conducted an interview with a confidential source with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office, according to an arrest affidavit.

That same source reported under oath that Faiella solicited him to kill Herndon and Sharkey, deputies said.

Faiella told the informant he was owed $8,000 in Social Security money and he would pay $3,000 for the death of Herndon and $3,000 for Sharkey, according to the affidavit.

A day later, the two spoke again. This time, the conversation was recorded by the informant, deputies said.

Faiella is currently awaiting trial on two counts of committing lewd and lascivious molestation on a victim younger than 12 years old and one count of sexual battery upon a child younger than 12 years old.

His next court date is scheduled for Jan. 14. Herndon is the prosecutor in the case and Sharkey is his attorney, according to court records.

Sgt. Donna Black, a sheriff’s spokeswoman, declined to answer questions as to how Faiella came in contact with the informant or how the sheriff’s office first learned about his alleged intentions.

The affidavit also revealed Faiella provided the informant with a written document -- or an IOU -- for a total of $6,000.

Faiella told detectives he was angry about facing jail time on his current charges, according to the sheriff’s office.

Herndon is on vacation and was unavailable for comment Thursday. A message left for Sharkey was not returned.

Reporter Tony Holt can be reached at 352-544-5283 or To see more of Hernando Today or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2010, Hernando Today, Brooksville, Fla. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For more information about the content services offered by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services (MCT), visit, e-mail, or call 866-280-5210 (outside the United States, call +1 312-222-4544)