Attorney who tried to kill wife 3 times apologies to family

Published: Nov. 10, 2015 at 10:59 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 11, 2015 at 9:44 PM CST
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Fred Wortman (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
Fred Wortman (SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

COLLIERVILLE, TN (WMC) - A lot of emotion, tears, and an apology filled the courtroom Tuesday as Fred Wortman faced the wife he tried to kill when she took the witness stand.

Wortman, an attorney, found himself on the other side of the courtroom table and jail cell. He accepted a plea in allegations he tried to kill his wife three different times.

His wife Staci took the stand Tuesday.

"Auston, your children, are praying for you daily that your heart will change," she said.

Staci Wortman fought back tears as she told the judge and her husband about the pain she and her children are feeling after her husband tried to kill her.

"I still struggle, but my children are the greatest victims. They know he's in jail. They know he wanted me not to be alive any more. They know he has to face the consequences," she said.

During the court proceedings Tuesday, prosecutors said Fred Wortman tried to kill his wife by hiring a hit man, offering money to an inmate in Fayette County and poisoning her toothpaste at their Collierville home.

He apologized to his family for the pain he has caused them.

"No apology which I offer will be sufficient to all who I have disappointed, let down and hurt. I do apologize to Staci, the Jones, my parents, my family, most of all I apologize to my three precious children," Fred Wortman said.

Tuesday's plea was in regards to the toothpaste incident. Monday, in Fayette County, he accepted pleas for trying to pay a hitman and pay an inmate to kill his wife.

A deal combined the pleas and gave Wortman a 30-year prison sentence.

Outside the courtroom, Staci Wortman said she was shocked when investigators first told her that her husband wanted her dead. She said she had no idea.

"It's just unbelievable that the person I've known for 18 years could do this. I've heard people say what their abuse, domestic violence, there was nothing. There was none of that in our marriage," Staci Wortman said.

As for Fred Wortman, he could be eligible for parole in nine years.

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