A former southeast Missouri pastor has been convicted of plotting the ultimately foiled killing of his wife in a planned house fire.

The Dexter Daily Stateman reports that a Stoddard County jury convicted 70-year-old Donald Lafferty of counts of attempted murder, arson, armed criminal action and financial exploitation of the elderly.

Prosecutors say Lafferty agreed to pay Brandi and Christopher Hicks $15,000 to set fire to his home in January 2013, and another $5,000 if his wife died in the fire.

The fire badly damaged the home but Mildred Lafferty awoke and escaped. She has since divorced her husband.

Donald Lafferty remains jailed without bond, pending sentencing scheduled for March 9.

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