The state attorney's office says a man awaiting trial on charges he molested two 15-year-old girls is facing even more serious charges after allegedly trying to hire someone to kill the victims so they could not testify against him.
Daniel Lowry, 32, was arrested in March on charges of lewd or lascivious battery, lewd or lascivious molestation, and lewd or lascivious exhibition. Investigators said the victims have accused Lowry of touching them inappropriately between February and March.
Last week while in the Duval County jail, investigators said Lowry wrote a letter plotting the murder of the two victims in the sex crime case. The letter provided physical descriptions of both victims and where they lived, investigators said. They said it also provided a map with instructions on the best time and place to kill the victims.
Investigators said the letter noted where a gun could be obtained for the killings. They said the note states that the girls needed to be killed so they could not testify at trial.
After obtaining the letter, a state attorney's office investigator went undercover posing as the man hired for the killings. The investigator was able to recover the gun identified in the letter as the murder weapon, investigators said.
"It was enough information that we had to determine if it was credible," said Richard Giglio, of the state attorney's office. "We did determine it was credible because of follow-up information, and we did end up arresting him based on that information."
Giglio would not say how much money was offered. He said the girls were not tipped off right away but were made aware of the threats later.
"Obviously, they were surprised," he said. "Any time you drop a bomb on them like that, they are going to -- well, it's not something you hear about every day. They were obviously shocked, but we wanted to make sure they knew we had shut off the threat."
Lowry was charged this week with two additional counts: criminal solicitation of a capital felony crime. If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in prison on each of the new charges.
If convicted on the sex crime charges, he faces up to 15 years in prison on each count.
Lowry's trial was scheduled for next week. The trial has been continued, and Lowry's next court date is Sept. 11.