TYLER (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - A U.S. magistrate judge found a Tyler man mentally competent Monday to stand trial for conspiring to burn down a drug recovery center in Tyler in March so that competition would be eliminated for a methadone center in the same city.
According to an indictment, Todd Edward Jacobs, 44, is accused of attempting to hire someone to kill his co-conspirator, Daniel Joseph Kubisty, 55, so Kubisty would not testify against him.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Noble said the hearing for Jacobs took about five minutes in U.S. Magistrate Judge John Love's court in the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. Noble said there will be a pretrial conference in the case on Jan. 8, when a trial date will be set.
Jacobs is charged with solicitation of arson, witness tampering, murder for hire, solicitation for murder and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime, according to the indictment.
A federal grand jury indicted Kubisty in May on a charge of malicious attempt, by means of fire, to destroy or damage a building, according to the court documents. But on June 6, a grand jury added Jacobs to the indictment.
Kubisty and Jacobs have been charged in the June 6 indictment with conspiracy to commit arson and attempted arson, Noble said.
The indictment alleges that between March 10 and March 19, Jacobs and Kubisty conspired with one another to burn the Add-Recovery Center in Tyler to gain a competitive advantage for the Methadone Clinic of East Texas, also in Tyler.
Between May 21 and June 1, Jacobs approached another person about killing Kubisty to prevent his testimony in the federal prosecution against Jacobs, ac-cording to court documents. Jacob also provided the individual with ammunition and firearms for the killing, the court documents state.
If convicted, Kubisty could be sentenced to up to 10 years in federal prison, Noble said. Jacobs is facing up to 30 years in prison, and both may have to pay a fine of $250,000.