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Marine Jailed in Alleged Murder Plot

Times Staff Writer

In a love triangle that allegedly led to a grenade attack in Kuwait, a Marine officer and the wife of another officer are accused of conspiring to kill the woman’s husband and fool authorities into thinking he was the victim of a terrorist attack.

Federal charges against the wife and military allegations against the Marine accuse the two of having an affair and attempting to murder the husband so they could collect his life insurance and continue their “romantic relationship.”

Wendy Glass, 33, is in a federal jail in Phoenix awaiting trial. Chief Warrant Officer Larry A. Framness, 36, an 18-year Marine with an exemplary record, is in the brig at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station here, the Marine Corps announced Thursday.

The two are charged with conspiring to kill Chief Warrant Officer James “Houston” Glass.

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James Glass and Framness both served at a Marine Corps aviation unit in Yuma, Ariz., and were sent to Kuwait as part of the 3rd Marine Air Wing, headquartered at Miramar. Glass is a weather officer and Framness was a maintenance officer at the Yuma base, where the Marine Corps’ vertical-lift attack planes, the Harriers, are based.

On May 14, Framness allegedly lured Glass into a guard shack at the Camp Snake Pit portion of Ali Al Salem Air Base outside Kuwait City and then rolled an “unauthorized” grenade into the shack, according to the federal indictment.

Framness had allegedly awakened Glass in the middle of the night and told him that his wife had called him on a phone line at the guard shack.

Framness had exchanged e-mails with Wendy Glass before the attack. In one, he is alleged to have said that, when he returned to Yuma, he would have to restrain himself from the desire to “run up to the lovely young widow” and “lose myself in your kiss.” Military investigators, within hours of the incident, allegedly found pornographic pictures of Wendy Glass in Framness’ quarters and extensive correspondence between the two. In Kuwait and Phoenix, investigators seized computer tapes of e-mails.

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In the grenade attack, Glass, 37, a 20-year veteran, suffered shrapnel wounds to his neck, legs and back. He underwent emergency surgery to remove the shrapnel and repair possible damage to his jugular vein. He was evacuated to a military hospital and has returned to duty at Yuma.

Along with attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, dereliction of duty, making false statements and reckless conduct, Framness is charged with adultery, the Marine Corps said Thursday.

Wendy Glass has confessed to the conspiracy, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed in Phoenix. She pleaded not guilty last week in U.S. District Court. Framness has not yet entered a plea. He was returned to San Diego in handcuffs on a plane carrying other Marines back from the war zone.

Framness and Wendy Glass allegedly began an affair in late 2001 while Framness was married and the two couples were neighbors and socialized together. Framness later divorced and, by October 2002, he and Wendy Glass were plotting to kill her husband, according to the Phoenix indictment.

The alleged illicit lovers are accused of first planning to lure James Glass to the Laguna Mountains east of San Diego, getting him so drunk he passed out, and then leaving him in his car while they steered it off a steep cliff.

The two allegedly scouted out various locations in the rugged mountains where the unconscious Glass would be sure to be fatally injured if his car were to plunge off the road.

Wendy Glass is alleged to have arranged to spend a few days with her husband at a secluded mountain cabin popular with couples looking for a romantic getaway. Framness was to arrive and help with putting the drunken husband behind the wheel of his vehicle.

The plot failed when James Glass, despite drinking heavily, did not pass out on the night of Nov. 23, 2002, the indictment charges. Framness met Wendy Glass outside the cabin and the two allegedly decided to try the same tactic the next day.

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But on the next night, despite more drinking, James Glass again did not pass out. “The two agreed not to commit the murder on that night,” said the indictment.

When the Yuma unit shipped out to Kuwait, Framness and Wendy Glass allegedly renewed the murder plot.

In an April 13 e-mail, Framness allegedly promised her that, “I am going to make every possible effort to take care of everything here before I come back.... “

The indictment, returned after investigators interviewed Wendy Glass, says she told Framness she did not want to know the details of his strategy to kill her husband but she also did not want him to suffer.

Framness allegedly told Wendy Glass in a telephone call that if she were talking to her husband on the phone and heard a “boom” that she “should not worry about it.” Framness’ suggestion to authorities that a terrorist had attacked the guard shack apparently unraveled within hours. Among other things, no terrorist activity had been reported in that area.

Under a tentative agreement between the Marine Corps and the U.S. attorney’s office in Phoenix, Framness will first face charges in a military setting and then possibly be turned over to civilian authorities. An Article 32 investigation, similar to a civilian grand jury investigation, is set to begin for Framness on June 25. The investigation had been scheduled to begin Thursday but was delayed when Framness’ defense attorney asked for more time to prepare.


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