A man accused of attempting to hire a hitman to kill a Williams County Department of Job and Family Services (JFS) social worker has pleaded guilty, with no plea deal in place, according to records from the U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio in Toledo.
David Culver, 35, of Fountain, Florida, changed his plea in regard to one count of use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire from not guilty to guilty during a pretrial hearing Tuesday. Sentencing is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 17, 2020, with detention continued in the meantime.
In May, the FBI arrested David Culver, 35, of Fountain, Florida, in Bryan, alleging he ordered a hit on a Williams County social worker.
Following the arrest, the FBI reported that Bryan police became aware of Culver’s plan after hearing from a confidential informant. Police called JFS offices and notified them of the threat to one of their employees. Police also continued to work with the informant to arrest Culver as he made arrangements for the hit, while Williams County Sheriff’s deputies aided in watching over the JFS facility.
The nature of Culver’s threat related to his children, and his separation from them. Upon notice of the threat, the children were moved out of the region, as was the threatened social worker and her own children.
Culver was arrested on May 18 at McDonald’s in Bryan while he was trying to make payment related to the proposed hit.
Culver was previously convicted of endangering children and is classified as a sex offender. Court documents indicate Culver understood the targeted social worker was involved in an investigation which resulted in the removal of Culver from his children.
According to an affidavit:
“Culver texted C1 (an individual unidentified in court documents) on May 15: ‘I did move to Florida, I came back up here an ram (sic) into some sh__. But do u still have any contacts with some bad people? I need a huge favor.’ C1 responded, ‘Like?’ and ‘I can get them.’ Culver’s telephone replied, ‘I need to get rid of some ASAP.’ C1 asked, ‘Rid as in how?’ Culver’s telephone responded, ‘None breathing.’ C1 asked, ‘What happen.’ Culver’s telephone replied, ‘I’ll call u here in a little while and we can talk then over the phone.’”
The affidavit states that Culver agreed to pay $1,000 to have the social worker murdered. Culver sent a screenshot with the name of a child protective services investigator assigned to the case involving Culver.
On May 18, an undercover Bryan police officer posing as a hitman met with Culver at McDonald’s. Culver confirmed he had money and referenced the targeted woman as the person responsible for taking his kids. When asked what kind of proof Culver was looking for to confirm the job was completed, Culver referenced wanting a photo and said he wanted her to disappear, according to the affidavit.
Culver provided the undercover officer $200 as down payment for the hit and was taken into custody.
According to court records, Culver has previously served 60 days at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio for child endangerment, and was registered as a Tier II sex offender.