COEUR d'ALENE, Idaho - In a detention hearing Tuesday, a federal judge ordered murder-for-hire suspect Edgar Steele to remain in the U.S. Marshal's custody in the Spokane County Jail until his trial. Steele's arrest is based out of Coeur d'Alene, but he's being held in the Spokane Jail to keep him separate from another suspect in the case, Larry Fairfax. Fairfax is being held without bond in the Kootenai County Jail.
Prosecutors allege that Edgar Steele paid Larry Fairfax to arrange a car accident to kill his wife and mother-in-law back in May. He was arrested June 9th.
The judge made her ruling based on jailhouse phone calls played in court that determined Steele could possibly attempt to intimidate or instruct his wife and others who are witnesses to the case.
Edgar Steele made phone calls to both his son and wife from jail. Authorities said they had recordings between Steele and Fairfax discussing the murder-for-hire plot, and needed Steele's wife to authenticate the tapes by identifying Steele's voice. The phone call between Steele and his wife were played in open court. Steele told his wife in the phone call that she has to tell the authorities "that is not my husband's voice". He also told her, "I would never hire someone to kill anybody, least of all you."
Edgar Steele will be held in the Spokane County jail until his trial on August 6th.
COEUR D' ALENE Idaho. - A federal judge ruled Monday afternoon that Larry Fairfax should not be released from the custody of U.S., Marshals. The judge said she could not reasonably assure the safety of certain people within the community based on the evidence presented by government. Special agents with both the FBI and ATF testified against Fairfax. Fairfax admitted he had built two pipe bombs as part of a murder-for-hire plot. He admitted he was hired by attorney Edgar Steele to kill Steele's wife. The plan was for the device to explode while she traveled to Oregon, causing the wife's car to crash and kill her.
The FBI special agent also testified that Fairfax had been working with them about the suspected murder-for-hire plot involving attorney Edgar Steele prior to the pipe bomb being discovered on June 15th. Fairfax never mentioned to the FBI that he had placed a pipe bomb underneath Cyndi Steele's SUV.
In court, Fairfax's lawyer argued that his defendant never intended for the bomb to explode. He said that Fairfax taped the fuse to prevent it from igniting. Fairfax also traveled to Oregon City, Oregon, where Cyndi Steele was staying to see if the bomb was still attached to her car. He didn't see it and thought it had fallen off. It was later discovered attached to the car when the SUV was taken to a Quick Lube shop in Coeur d'Alene.
Fairfax says he received $10,000 in silver coins from Edgar Steele to kill Steele's wife. Fairfax's attorney says Fairfax intended to take the money and not commit the murder. He says that is why he taped the fuse of the bomb.