No bond for Polk County murder-for-hire suspect

WINTER HAVEN, Fla - A Polk County judge denied Vincent Madhavath of Winter Haven bond Thursday. He is a suspect in a murder-for-hire involving his wife of 10 years.

Family and friends gathered at his home in Eloise Point Estates before heading to his court appearance in Bartow. ABC Action News knocked on the door for comment, but the family declined to speak.

During his brief bond hearing, the 43-year-old did not speak.

His family members consulted with their newly retained attorney Robert Norgard following the hearing.  Norgard could be heard explaining why the father of three was denied bond.

Norgard declined to comment on the case.

Madhavath was arrested Wednesday on charges of soliciting to commit murder and having a firearm while committing a felony.

The arrest came after a two-month long investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. FDLE agents say an undercover agent met with Madhavath three times and in those meetings he revealed the victim would be his wife. He offered to pay the agent $15,000 to carry out the murder.
 
Madhavath met with the agent Wednesday in Ft. Meade to give him a $5,000 down payment for the killing, according to the agency. The plan involved staging a home invasion, physically assaulting Madhavath and killing his wife.
 
After Madhavath left the meeting, he was arrested.
 
His wife spoke to ABC Action News off camera following his arrest, saying she feared for the safety of their three daughters. But she said she'd always been loyal to her husband and planned to remain so even after learning of the allegations.
 
According to FDLE, they are still searching for a motive.
 
A record search shows the couple filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and were close to a $1 million in debt. There were also liens on their Berkshire Lane house.
 
"Gosh, I don't even know how to process this," said Baxter Troutman, a neighbor and family friend.
 
Troutman described the family as friendly and fun. Troutman's children go to the same school as Madhavath's children and the families would carpool.
 
Just three days ago, the children played together in the pool.
 
Madhavath is due back in court the morning of Sept. 9.

 

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