A Columbia Heights man is facing a first-degree felony charge of conspiring to hire a person to murder a former business associate over a financial dispute.
Kevin Patrick Condren, 62, was arrested at his Columbia Heights home April 19 on charges of conspiracy to commit premeditated murder. His bail was set at $750,000 and his next court appearance is May 1. As of press time, Condren remained in the Anoka County Jail.
According to the criminal complaint, authorities tracked Condren for months prior to the arrest.
According to the complaint, Condren hired an individual to do paralegal work in November 2016. While working with the individual, Condren asked if he did any “side jobs.”
Condren allegedly offered him $5,000 and a revolver, and that he wanted the victim shot in the ear, stating “just put it in his ear and pull the trigger.” He later offered the individual $10,000.
The paralegal went to the police and made arrangements for Condren and an undercover officer to meet, with the officer posing as a hitman. The two met at a restaurant in December in Anoka County, with the entire conversation video- and audio-recorded. Condren told the officer that he had an on-going dispute with the victim and the motive for the killing was a $150,000 business deal.
Condren stated that he wanted the killing to happen in August, as he had plans to move to Vietnam and wanted to leave the country in fear of retaliation from the victim’s associates. He also requested for the undercover officer to purchase a “high-powered rifle given the victim’s size and eliminating the victim’s ability to fight back.” He offered up to $7,000 for the murder.
At a second meeting, Condren told the undercover officer that he was leaving for a trip to Vietnam in January, but he would return to complete the sale of his house and then permanently move to Vietnam.
Investigators contact the victim, who said he believed Condren was capable of such a thing, given their history and prior threats made by Condren.
Investigation showed that Condren returned from Vietnam but had a scheduled flight on April 24 to Shanghai, China. A warrant for his arrest was issued based on the evidence of threats, an attempt to contact the victim, via hacking the victim’s Facebook account from Vietnam, and his upcoming flight to China.
Contact Sarah Burghardt at [email protected]