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Inmate Convicted Of Trying To Have Judge Slain

WACO — An inmate serving time for not registering as a sex offender has been convicted of trying to hire a hit man to kill the Texas judge who sent him to prison.

William Ray Phillips of Waco could be sentenced to life behind bars in the penalty phase starting Thursday. A McLennan County jury on Wednesday convicted the 64-year-old inmate of solicitation of capital murder.

Judge Matt Johnson wasn’t hurt in the plot uncovered when Phillips was in prison and met with an undercover agent. Investigators say Phillips offered $30,000 to have the judge killed.

In 2013, Johnson sentenced Phillips to 10 years for failing to register after being convicted as a sex offender. Some prior sexual abuse convictions, in cases also heard by Johnson, were overturned on appeal.