A teenager who was sentenced to only one year in jail for a robbery now faces a life behind bars after he was found guilty of trying to hire a hit man to kill a correctional officer at Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
"He said that you were living that hit man life, so here I am asking you to kill that *****"
That was in one of the letters 19-year-old Raquan Knight is convicted of writing to "Lil' Al", a man he thought would kill a correctional officer for $1,500.
But "Lil' Al" doesn't exist and Knight's alleged murder plot went terribly wrong.
"I might be in prison for the rest of my life and I have nothing to do with it," Knight said from jail on Friday.
He told NewsChannel 3 he didn't write the letters.
"I feel like I'm being set up," Knight said.
Knight says he feels like he was being set up by a jailhouse informant. The Commonwealth's Attorney handling the case, Jim Wiser, says that's not what happened. Wiser says a fellow inmate told police Knight wanted to hire a hitman to kill a correctional officer who accused Knight of throwing feces on him.
While he was in jail, Knight was charged with assault and battery on an officer and was facing more time behind bars. That's why Wiser says Knight wanted the correctional officer killed.
In the letter to "Lil' Al", it reads "getting this ***** taken off this EARTH before he gets a chance to testify against me."
But "Lil' Al" was never real, those letters were actually sent straight to the Commonwealth's Attorney.
"Fortunately, he approached an inmate who realized the seriousness of the situation, so he contacted authorities and we got involved and ultimately had an arrangement where the letter was sent to our office," Wiser said.
Wiser adds that evidence and a confession was what he needed for a guilty conviction yesterday in court. But Knight is sticking to his story that's it's all a lie and plans to appeal before he gets sentenced.
"The Commonwealth will do anything for a conviction," Knight said. "I`m going to appeal it and I know for a fact that I`m going to beat it in appeal."
Knight faces more than four life sentences behind bars. His sentencing is set for January 26th.