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MUSCATINE — Trial of a North Liberty man charged with three counts of attempted murder will begin today at the  Muscatine County Courthouse.

Following a final pretrial conference Nov. 30 in Muscatine County District Court, a trial date in the murder-for-hire case against Justin DeWitt was confirmed.

DeWitt, 38, was charged with three counts of attempted murder, a class B felony, in December 2016, for allegedly hiring a hit man from jail. According to court documents, DeWitt pleaded not guilty in January to the charges. A plea agreement filed in May shows DeWitt has pleaded guilty to the charges.

While being held in Muscatine County jail awaiting trial for attempted murder and solicitation to commit murder in other for-hire killings, DeWitt allegedly met with an undercover officer and agreed to pay $25,000 to have three people killed who were set to testify against him. He allegedly agreed to give the officer a $500 down payment to kill an adult male and female, and a state agent.

In June, DeWitt was sentenced in Johnson County to 35 years in prison for plotting to have his business associate, the associate's wife and two children killed. He was arrested in June 2016 for allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill the family.

If found guilty in Muscatine County, DeWitt could face up to 25 years in prison without the possibility of probation. Once sentenced, DeWitt must serve a minimum of 70 percent of the sentence.

The plea agreement states parties recommend sentences run consecutively with the sentence imposed in Johnson County.

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