Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Elizabethton man arrested for ‘murder-for-hire’ scheme

Along with several other law enforcement agencies, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Elizabethton man after he hired a hit man to kill an former girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend, police said.
Benjamin Thomas Barrick, 39, of 517 East Elk Street, was caught in Sullivan County by Washington County, Carter County Sheriff’s Office and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents.
The investigation into information that someone had been hired to commit a murder of a Washington County resident began Aug. 21. During the next thre days, investigators conducted extensive interviews, undercover operations and surveillance which provided more details about the murder plot, including that Barrick gave to the would-be hit man a photograph of the intended victim holding a small child.
Police said Barrick hired a hit man, provided the hit man with a photograph of the intended victim, paid the victim a partial payment of $100, and provided a handgun, magazines, and ammunition to be used to commit the murder. The intended victim was brought in, interviewed, and warned about the contract out for his murder, according to police.
On Aug. 24, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office obtained an arrest warrant on Barrick for solicitation of First Degree murder. Washington and Carter County Sheriff’s Offices, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Special Agents, and investigators with the Elizabethton Police Department descended on Barrick’s residence. A search of his residence revealed no Barrick. Barrick’s cell phones had been shut off and other attempts to locate him had failed, police said.
However, law enforcement located him in Sullivan County. At the time of arrest Barrick was in possession of a substantial amount of U.S. currency, night vision devices, surveillance equipment, several prepaid cellular phones, flashlights and other items of survival gear that could be used to avoid capture, police said.
Barrick is housed in the Washington County Detention Center, under a $150,000 bond.