In a federal courtroom in Fort Worth today, Ryan Walker Grant learned that he will have exactly 10 years in federal prison to ponder just where exactly he went wrong. After all, his plot to murder Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck and attorney Tom Brandt after the city effectively shut down Flashdancer Cabaret, must have seemed absolutely foolproof.
A quick timeline: Grant was forced to close Flashdancer in January 2012 under pressure from the city and TABC. He filed a federal lawsuit trying to stop the closure. When that failed, he turned to extralegal means and attempted to hire a hit man.
"I really need somebody to take a vacation up here to do a job from down south man," Grant explained to a contact who is not identified in court documents. He suggested employing "wetbacks" and offered $20,000.
That "job," Grant later admitted, was the murder of Cluck and Brandt.
Grant's plans fell through when the FBI intervened, having recorded his phone conversations and text messages. He was indicted in July, pleaded guilty in September, and was sentenced today.
More importantly, Grant learned an important lesson: Don't hire people to kill a mayor. Or maybe the lesson is not to stint on quality when hiring people to kill the mayor. One or the other.
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Update at 3:39 p.m.: CBS 11 has some details from the sentencing.
"He wanted to convey that he's very remorseful and sorry for his actions," Grant's attorney, Warren St. John, told reporters. "Even though the mayor believes he did, he never had any intention to go forward with trying to have the mayor killed or this attorney from Dallas killed."
Cluck doesn't think Grant is the teddy bear his attorney makes him out to be.
"We never went to bed at night or never woke up in the morning that we didn't think about it [murder attempt] and talk about it a little bit. We were much more careful in everything that we did [and] we will continue to be that way," he said. "It's impacted our lives in a negative way, so it's time to put it behind us and get on with what we enjoy doing. There's not been a lot of thrill in our lives recently."