BALLSTON SPA — A Hudson Falls man is facing decades in prison after admitting Wednesday to plotting to kill a witness in his rape case.
Kyle M. Shultz, 19, admitted in Saratoga County Court to plotting with another person while in Saratoga County Jail to have a potential witness in the case killed. Investigators had learned about the plot, which police said was in the preliminary stages. Shultz was arrested on March 28.
Shultz had already pleaded guilty to first-degree rape on April 27. He and co-defendant Dylan E. Kelly raped a woman on May 16, 2017 and stole her wallet during an attack in a remote area off Ferry Boulevard in Hudson Falls. The two had met the woman when she was walking along a street in Hudson Falls in the early morning hours.
Shultz admitted in court that sometime between March 8 and March 27, while an inmate in Saratoga County Jail, he told someone that he would pay $10,000 to have the witness killed. Shultz met with a person he believed would carry out the act and said how the murder should occur. However, the person who met with Shultz was actually an undercover police officer, according to a news release from the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office.
Shultz also allegedly assaulted two guards in the county jail last July.
Saratoga County District Attorney Karen Heggen said it is ironic that Shultz believed that he would not be sent to prison if the witness were killed. He had already admitted to the facts surrounding the rape and assault when he pleaded guilty.
Shultz originally was going to get a sentence of 13 years for the rape and 3 years for the assault. However, now he will receive a sentence of an additional 10 to 20 years for the conspiracy charge, a harsher penalty of 20 years for the rape case and 3 years for the assault, for a total of 33 to 43 years in prison.
The plot did not go very far before Shultz was arrested, and no one was in harm’s way, according to Heggen.
“The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office worked diligently to identify and gather the necessary information needed to insure that defendant Schultz’s conspiracy to commit murder would not happen. Their coordinated effort unearthed the defendant’s conspiracy right from the beginning and resulted in ensuring the intended target’s safety,” Heggen said in a news release.
Shultz will be sentenced on June 27 on the conspiracy count.
Kelly pleaded guilty earlier this year and is set to be sentenced June 4 in his case. He already is serving a 1 1/3 to 4-year prison sentence for unrelated convictions.