Woman claims she was pawn shop owner’s murder-for-hire target

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A Texarkana woman filed a petition for a protective order Monday alleging she was an intended target of Tri-State Pawn and Jewelry owner William “Bill” Duffer’s murder-for-hire plot.

Duffer was arrested by Texarkana, Ark., police Friday for attempted conspiracy to commit capital murder. Police have been quiet as to details surrounding the arrest but a petition for a protective order filed Monday alleges Duffer wanted to end the life of a woman who formerly worked at the Texarkana, Ark., pawn shop and with whom he had a romantic relationship.

The petition alleges Duffer assaulted the woman many times at his store and at her Texarkana, Ark., home, that he threatened her and a male friend at gunpoint, and that the woman’s child witnessed some of the abuse.

The petition alleges that Duffer locked the woman in a store next to the pawn shop April 2, 2014, and that when he returned with the key 17 hours later, he physically assaulted her. The woman claims Duffer put her in a head lock and knocked her to the floor.

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“The petitioner stood up and the respondent (Duffer) kicked her so hard that she flew backwards into the doors, causing her to urinate on herself and the floor,” the petition states. “The respondent took the petitioner to the ER where she was treated for a swollen spleen and fluid surrounding her spleen.”

The woman alleges the assault caused her to miscarry a pregnancy.

The petition alleges that Duffer choked the woman to unconsciousness May 6 at the pawn shop. Duffer allegedly became angry at the woman and kicked her legs out from beneath her, causing her to fall.

“The respondent then kicked the petitioner two times in her stomach, then got on top of her and strangled her, cutting off all her air until she was nearly unconscious,” the petition states. “The petitioner’s arms were tingling and her vision was black.”

Other pawn shop employees allegedly helped the woman to her feet and took her home. The May 6 assault allegedly left the woman with a broken rib, a sore esophagus and bruising to her chest and stomach which made breathing difficult. The woman’s petition alleges she was fired and banned from the pawn shop for reporting the May 6 assault to police.

The petition alleges the woman who filed the petition and a man, whose connection to Duffer is not identified, were both targets of a murder-for-hire attempt by Duffer. The petition asks that Duffer be court ordered to stay away from her, her home, her child, her child’s school, her place of employment and her family and that he be prohibited from communicating with her in any way.

Formal criminal charges connected to Friday’s arrest have not yet been filed by the Miller County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. A hearing to address the civil petition seeking a protective order hasn’t been scheduled. The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.

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