Gainesville man accused of hiring inmate to kill wife while in jail for attempted murder

Photos: Alachua County Jail.

An Alachua County Jail inmate charged with attempting to murder his wife in February is now accused of trying to hire someone to finish the job.

Alachua County Sheriff's investigators charged 62-year-old Michael Reuschel of Gainesville with criminal attempt to solicit and conspire on a capital felony on June 29th. Sheriff's spokesman Art Forgey said Reuschel was arrested on the new charge moments after he bonded out of jail on the attempted murder and kidnapping charges from February.

Deputies on Thursday arrested a second man in connection with the case. The State Attorney's Office charged 33-year-old Roderick Jermaine McCullum with conspiracy to commit murder. The State Attorney asked McCullum's file to be sealed because some co-defendants are still being identified and releasing information could compromise the investigation. A circuit judge agreed. McCullum, who has six prior felony convictions, is being held on $250,000 bond.

Reuschel, according to court documents, is the owner of Ocala Dental Care and a graduate of the University of Florida. An arrest affidavit says an inmate who was housed with Reuschel told investigators Reuschel solicited him to kill his wife. Here's what happened next, according to affidavit:

Reuschel provided the informant with a complete description, layout and location of his wife's home. He also told him where the cameras were located, how to avoid detection and how to disarm the security system. Investigators say the information the inmate gave them was credible and accurate.

The informant also told investigators that he and Reuschel discussed how his wife's death should be staged to look like a crime gone awry. The report says Reuschel gave him contacts (names, phone numbers and addresses) of people outside the jail who would help him complete the task of killing her. Investigators say the informant received payment in advance in the form of "care packages" he received at the jail. The affidavit says Reuschel promised him more than $100,000 for killing his wife.

Reuschel is being held on $1 million bond.

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