Man Faces Charges in Murder Plot

A former Woodland Hills businessman was indicted Tuesday on murder-for-hire charges for allegedly trying to have a lawyer with whom he was enmeshed in a contentious legal battle killed, authorities said.

Arthur Sherwood Root, 55, was arrested Sept. 19 by FBI agents after allegedly giving a man money to buy a gun to kill Barry Martin, a former Los Angeles lawyer, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Barbara Curry.

Curry said Root and Martin had been battling over a civil lawsuit for several years. Root, who now lives in Oakland, made his telephone call for the hit from a vacation home in Stateline, Nev., Curry said.

Curry said prosecutors taped conversations between Root and the alleged hit man, who is now a federal witness, in which Root speaks of his desire to have Martin killed.

Root is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 10. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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