A St. George man convicted in a murder-for-hire plot plans to accept a plea deal that will vacate his conviction and potentially trim decades from his prison sentence.
A federal jury found Kelly J. Polatis guilty of 14 charges in 2011 of scheming to hire a hit man to kill five people to derail a federal drug case against him in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The hit man was actually an undercover FBI agent.
Polatis faced potential prison terms of up to 30 years on four counts and a maximum of 10 years each on the others. But in March, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled that Polatis' attorney failed to properly inform him of the possible sentence he faced if convicted when discussing a plea deal offered by prosecutors. In fact, the attorney acknowledged he never calculated his client's potential sentence twice what he was offered in the plea deal until months after Polatis' trial ended.