WEST PLAINS -- Following a month long investigation, an inmate in the Howell County Jail has been charged with attempted murder, 1st degree, a class B felony. The charge comes from an investigation by the Howell County Sheriff's Office where information was gathered to indicate the inmate has solicited murder for hire.
William Kenneth Fratta, 51, has been incarcerated in the Howell County Jail since July 10, 2006, on two Howell County charges of statutory sodomy and forcible rape.
The investigation revealed Fratta has allegedly approached two different inmates about killing the victim of his pending case. In both incidents, details were discussed by Fratta and the inmates, including where to locate the victim, how much money would be exchanged, instructions to kill the other members of the family and to burn the house down. Both inmates were about to be released when Fratta approached them with his request.
Fratta continues to be held in the Howell County Jail under a $850,000 bond ($350,000 on the original charges and $500,000 on the new charge). The investigation was conducted by the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division with assistance from the West Plains Police Department and the South Central Drug Task Force.