Man Tries to Frame Cat for Murder


Brett Nash needed some money. His house was going to be foreclosed if he didn’t come up with $37,000 — and fast.

How was he going to save his house with a mere $300 in the bank? Hmmm.

Well, there was another problem Nash was dealing with: A former corporate attorney had apparently been making passes at Nash’s wife.

Nash found out that Mister Horndog had about a quarter of a million dollars in the bank, so, authorities say, he decided to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

After coming up with a brilliant (ahem) plan straight from a TV crime show, Nash recruited an acquaintance — whom he’d met when they worked together on river barges — to help him do the deed: Nash planned to extort $60,000 from the attorney and then murder him. In return, the accomplice would get $5,000 and split the extortion proceeds with Nash.

The mechanism of the murder? They’d force the victim into a hot tub and then electrocute him by pitching a radio into the water. To cover their trail, they’d put some kitty litter around the tub to make it look like the cat was to blame for the attorney’s death.

But apparently Nash recruited the wrong accomplice. His former shipmate, who also happened to be on parole after serving a jail sentence for second-degree murder and sexual assault, had had a change of heart while he was in prison. He reported the plot to his former parole officer, who contacted the FBI. An affidavit from FBI Special Agent Nicholas Manns said “he had straightened out his life, believed in God, and could not live with himself if someone were murdered and he had done nothing about it.”

Not surprisingly, the recruit also feared Nash was setting him up.

In late January, Nash was arrested and arraigned on a charge of attempted extortion before he could commit a crime. The intended victim is now safe to harass Nash’s wife (alas), and the cat escaped being set up for his caretaker’s execution.

If the murder had actually taken place, I doubt the authorities would have fallen for Nash’s ridiculous attempt to blame the kitty. Nash himself has previous convictions for crimes like robbery, forgery, and home invasions, and detectives wouldn’t have had to work very hard to find the connection between Nash and the attorney.

At least if he’s convicted, Nash won’t have to worry about losing his home: He’ll have a place to stay, behind bars, for many years.

Cat 1; criminal 0.

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