New Charges for Texas Man in Botched Murder-for-Hire Plot to Kill Wife

Good Morning America

The 52-year-old Texas man accused of hiring a hitman to kill his wife is now facing new allegations of embezzlement from a former employer.

Frank Howard was arrested Aug. 26 and charged with solicitation of murder for hiring 19-year-old Dustin Hiroms to kill his wife, according to prosecutors. Howard's wife, Nancy, was shot in the face on Aug. 18 in the driveway of their Dallas-area home. Howard survived but was left severely injured and lost her left eye.

A few days after the shooting, Howard awoke from her coma and filed for divorce. Howard claimed her husband confessed to a three-year affair with a woman in California, according to court filings. Frank Howard allegedly lavished his mistress with an $800,000 home, a condo in Lake Tahoe and $500,000 for expenses including her daughter's education.

Howard is now being hauled into court by a defense contractor that he used to work for. The company is accusing Howard of embezzling millions from contracts in the Middle East to finance his alleged secret life.

Howard's attorney Arch McColl calls the charges against his client preposterous, but did say that Howard had an affair that is now over.

Police initially caught wind of the alleged plot weeks before the actual shooting when Hiroms was arrested on July 13 for traffic violations and the passenger in the car was identified as Jason Rendine, according to the affidavit.

Hiroms told police he lived in Van, Texas, and was coming to Carrollton to collect money from his uncle. Hiroms changed his story multiple times and said he was not looking for his uncle, but an investor named John. Hiroms then told the arresting officer a startling revelation that he was a hit man and "he was working for a guy named John…" according to the affidavit filed in Denton County, Texas.

On July 15, Carrollton Police received information from a sergeant in Van that Rendine had been talking about a "hit" that Hiroms was hired to perform and received $30,000 from an unknown male.

On Aug. 22, Rendine and his wife, Stephanie Delacerda, were arrested on drug charges in Bossier City, La. After her arrest, cops seized $14,900 in cash and a Wells Fargo checkbook. Delacerda told investigators that she had a "business relationship" with Howard. She said Howard put $35,000 in her account for a "business transaction," and later changed her story and told investigators she was compensated for sex with Howard.

Two days later, a Denton County investigator was contacted by an inmate who said they had information about a shooting that occurred six days prior in Carrollton. The affidavit identifies the inmate as Billie Johnson, Hiroms' stepfather. Johnson told investigators that Howard approached him three years earlier to have his wife killed.

Later that day, Denton County investigators received a letter from the FBI about Stacey Serenko, Johnson's wife and Hiroms' mother. Serenko confirmed Johnson's story and said that Howard stressed the murder "had to look like an accident." According to the affidavit, Howard gave Johnson and Serenko $85,000 along with pictures of his wife.

On Aug. 24, Hiroms was arrested on aggravated robbery charges, but denied any involvement in the shooting, and admitted that Howard contacted him to kill his wife. Hiroms said Howard gave him approximately $80,000 in wire transfers and cash, according to the affidavit.

"They're not professional killers, they typically botch the job, and then they want to talk about it--either bragging or being completely careless in who they share the information with," said ABC News legal analyst Brad Garrett.

Howard is now free on $1 million bail, but authorities say allegations of his past are now catching up to him all at once.

View Comments (11)

Recommended for You

  • Dixville Notch Casts First Votes in New Hampshire Primary

    The nine voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, became some of the first in the state -- and consequently, first in the nation -- to cast their ballots in the presidential primary in the early hours of Tuesday. New Hampshire has held the "First in the Nation" presidential primary since 1920, and…

    Good Morning America19 mins ago
  • 2 Trains Collide in Germany, 8 Dead, at Least 100 Injured

    Two morning commuter trains have collided in Bad Aibling in southern Germany, killing four people and injuring more than 100 others, police said.The train manufacturer, Meridian released a statement in German, saying two trains collided just after 7am local time.There is no detail on the condition…

    Good Morning America24 mins ago
  • Panda Cub Bei Bei Climbs a Tree With the Help of His Mom

    Bei Bei is moving up in the world.The Smithsonian National Zoo’s baby panda experienced the outdoors for the first time last week and now the nearly six-month-old cub is scaling trees—-with the help of his mom Mei Xiang, of course. The Washington DC based Zoo posted a video of the feat online this…

    Good Morning America
  • Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

    Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary. With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Girls' Star Lena Dunham Taking Time Off for 'Chronic' Illness

    The acclaimed HBO show "Girls" is back for a new season this month, but its biggest star will not being making press appearances due to a "chronic condition."Lena Dunham took to Instagram today to write, "I just wanted to let you know that, while I am so excited for Girls to return on Feb 21, I…

    Good Morning America
  • Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Rocked by Hurricane-Force Winds Heads Back to New Jersey

    A Royal Caribbean cruise ship that was rocked by hurricane-force winds overnight is sailing back to port in Bayonne, New Jersey. The ship left from Cape Liberty, New Jersey, on Saturday for a seven-night cruise to the Bahamas. The company posted a message on Twitter saying that all guests are…

    Good Morning America
  • US Veteran Says He is 'ISIS Soldier,' Calls Bin Laden 'Beautiful Man,' Officials Say

    The FBI has arrested a former member of the Army on weapons charges after he allegedly expressed sympathy for ISIS, called Osama bin Laden "a beautiful man" and said the murder of government agents was "a hundred percent obligation," according to court documents filed in a Washington state federal…

    Good Morning America
  • Giant Rabbit From Scotland Looking for a Home

    The Scottish SPCA center in Glasgow has a 7-month-old continental giant rabbit up for adoption. The rabbit, Atlas, is already about the size of a Westie dog and is still expected to grow, according to a Feb. 8 press release from the Scottish SPCA. Atlas is not only the same size as a dog, but…

    Good Morning America
  • Dad Tells Other Fathers, 'Respect the Mother of Your Child' in Viral Facebook Post

    A U.K. dad’s advice to fellow dads “respect the mother of your child” has gone viral after being posted in a Facebook tribute to the mother of his 9-month-old son.Tony Emms, of Cresswell Northumberland, in the U.K., posted on Facebook last month a photo of his fiancé, Charlotte Sperry, sleeping…

    Good Morning America
  • 'Kung Fu Panda 3' Stays on Top at the Box Office

    "Kung Fu Panda 3" scored another box office win during Super Bowl weekend.The animated sequel earned an estimated $21 million in its second weekend of release.'Kung Fu Panda 3' Tops the Box Office'The Revenant' Tops Weekend Box OfficeThe Coen brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" opened in second place,…

    Good Morning America
  • Peyton Manning Knows What He's Doing After Super Bowl Win

    Peyton Manning kept with tradition when it came to his Super Bowl celebration plans. The Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers, 24-10. During a press conference after Sunday night's game, Manning said that he was "taking his kids to Disneyland" before he and his family…

    Good Morning America
  • WWE Wrestler Daniel Bryan to Retire

    Former WWE champion and professional wrestling star Daniel Bryan is retiring."Due to medical reasons, effective immediately, I am announcing my retirement. Tonight on Raw, I'll have a chance to elaborate. #gratitude," he tweeted on Monday.Read: Stone Cold Steve Austin: My Life After Pro…

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning 'Very Much at Peace'

    Peyton Manning says he’s “very much at peace” as he contemplates retirement from the NFL just hours after winning his second Super Bowl title. Manning, 39, finished 13 for 23 for 141 yards in the Broncos’ 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers in Sunday’s Super Bowl game at California’s Levi’s…

    Good Morning America
  • White House Asks Congress for $1.8 Billion to Fight Zika Virus

    The Obama administration is requesting $1.8 billion in emergency funding from Congress to fight the Zika virus in the United States and abroad, the White House announced today. The request comes after lawmakers on Capitol Hill urged the White House to address the spread of the virus, which is…

    Good Morning America

    LOWEST PRICES! on the newest GALAPAGOS CRUISES Toll free! 18779866435 Visit the offical Galapagos adventure site at Galapagos

    Galapagos Islands .comSponsored
  • Dad's Piano-Playing Lullaby Soothes Baby Boy to Sleep in Seconds

    Take a look at little Samuel who couldn’t fall asleep because he had an ear infection. The moment his crafty dad starts playing his own version of the classic “Brahms’ Lullaby” however, the soothing sounds work like magic, putting the tiny tot to sleep within seconds.

    Good Morning America
  • Super Bowl 50: Beyonce Takes Fans Behind the Scenes of Her Performance

    Although Coldplay headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime performance, all eyes were on Beyonce, who shared the stage with the British band along with pop star Bruno Mars.The singer, who announced her Formation World Tour right after the big game ended, is letting fans in on how her performance came…

    Good Morning America
  • 4 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Scoring Beyonce Tour Tickets

    Minutes after Beyonce announced her 2016 Formation World Tour during Super Bowl 50, fans flooded to her website looking for more information about the tour, and temporarily crashed the site. Fans have also been tweeting in anticipation and excitement for the ticket sales to go live. Securing…

    Good Morning America