HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. - The former teacher who was the alleged target in a murder for hire plot is in constant mental and physical anguish, according to his attorney, James Guarnieri.
Investigators say Bob Meredith, a former Bloomingdale High School teacher, was the target of Bloomingdale High teacher James Pepe, who conspired to kill Meredith for $2,000.
Guarnieri said while his client is baffled about the alleged plot, they have heard some rumors.
"The allegation is that Mr. Meredith was spreading rumors that Mr. Pepe was a pedophile. It's not rumors that Mr. Meredith was spreading," he said.
Guarnier said Meredith has read about these rumors, he adamantly denies. He says Meredith does recall when the two got into disagreement when they both taught at Strawberry Crest High School, a couple years ago.
But can't imagine it would lead to any resentment.
"They were in the faculty lounge and Mr. Pepe was yelling at another faculty member and at one point in that he tried to bring Mr. Meredith into it and Mr. Meredith disengaged. He didn't want to get involved in that," Guarnieri said.
Meredith asked Guarnieri to speak on his behalf, because he can't do it.
This whole situation has literally made him sick.
"He's been having stomach issues and just issues with skin issues and in addition to that, just the amount of stress and the thought of having someone trying to kill him really was a mental weight on him," Guarnieri said.
Guarnieri said the two met at Strawberry Crest High School a couple years ago and had a lot in common.
They were both from New York and liked hockey.
He said Meredith feels better now that Pepe is in jail without bond, but his client is so stressed out he might not return to Strawberry Crest High Monday.