Sheriff: Teen with ax, bleach plotted to kidnap, murder man - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Sheriff: Teen with ax, bleach plotted to kidnap, murder man over relationship

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A Lancaster County teenager accused of plotting to kill another man was found with a slew of weapons on Sunday, including an ax, a machete, a skinning knife set, bleach, and rubber gloves.

According to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, deputies got a tip on Sunday about 19-year-old Joseph Ray Hegler.

Investigators discovered that Hegler has been planning to kill another man for several weeks.

According to deputies, Hegler planned on putting sticks or branches across the victim's driveway. When the victim got out to remove the debris, Hegler planned on forcing him, with a gun, to drive them to a secluded location on Tabernacle Road.

Officials say Hegler was then going to "have a talk" with the victim before murdering him and dismembering his body with the ax. He planned on disposing of the victim's body parts by making concrete blocks and dumping them in a river or pond.

WBTV has learned the man Hegler was plotting to kidnap and murder was once a close friend. Deputies say Hegler planned to kidnap the man because he was apparently angry with the man over the victim's relationship with a woman.

Investigators said that when they told him about Hegler's plot, he told them he had recently come home to find sticks across his driveway, which deputies said may have been a test to see how the victim would react.

The victim's father told WBTV that deputies came to their house Sunday and told the family about the plot to kill their 19-year-old son.

The father said investigators came back a second time and told them they confirmed the plot, and that it was supposed to happen Sunday night.

According the victim's father, after Hegler and his girlfriend broke up, Hegler began using drugs again. The victim stopped hanging out with Hegler because of the drug use.

The victim's father said his son and Hegler's ex-girlfriend started dating. Hegler apparently believed his friend and ex-girlfriend betrayed him.

Sunday investigators pulled Hegler over in a traffic stop. Deputies say Hegler was wearing rubber gloves when he was pulled over.

Investigators found numerous items in the vehicle including more gloves, duct tape, handcuffs, a flashlight, a skinning knife set, a change of clothes, trash bags, bleach, gasoline, a machete, baseball bats, and an ax.

At Hegler's home, investigators found say they found several bags of concrete.

"We are extremely fortunate that someone came forward with the information needed to get this investigation started," Sheriff Barry Faile said.

"We are thankful that we were able to bring this investigation to a conclusion so quickly before Hegler was able to hurt someone. Job Well done."

Hegler has been charged with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping. He is being held at the Lancaster County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.

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