"Target" of murder-for-hire plot speaks out

Robert Quarles
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Updated: .

Emily Longnecker/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - He promised to love her until death, and police say an Indianapolis man was willing to pay $1500 to expedite the process. But, police were wise to the plot.

Robert Quarles is a 56-year-old tow truck operator who is accused in a murder-for-hire plot. His main target, according to police, is his wife. Second on his hit-list was his girlfriend's husband.

Quarles is accused of asking a co-worker to find him a hit-man. But the co-worker tipped off police.

"I thank you," said the wife, who does not wish to be further identified. "You saved my life."  

Quarles' wife is still in shock. "Well you go from loving a man to finding out he wants to kill you. It's a hard switch."

Investigators say Quarles told an undercover detective, who he thought was a hit-man, that he'd already tried to kill his wife himself.

Lt. David Young, IMPD undercover, explained. "He admitted in the probable cause (affidavit) that he tried to poison her with Visine, a whole bottle of Visine."

That could be the reason, say police, Mrs. Quarles ended up in the hospital. That's where authorities warned her about the murder plot, a plot outlined in several recorded conversations with detectives that ended up in the affidavit.

In one of those conversations Quarles tells the detective about his wife. "She likes to soak in the bathtub for about a half-hour. It'd be a shame if she (pause) drowned in there. Accidents happen."

According to the affidavit, Quarles even suggests how to do it.

"If you took her under the (pause) water in the bathtub at 5:30 in the morning, grab her by the hair and take her (pause) under. Bounce her head off the bottom of the tub or something. Then I come back from work and find her."

Mrs. Quarles reacted to that suggestion. "That sounds like him. He would have one character and then he'd have another character."

Mrs. Quarles says Robert got more unpredictable after the May death of their 22-year-old daughter. According to police reports, Jessica Quarles, who suffered from severe cerebral palsey, drowned in the bathtub. 

Police say Robert Quarles and Jessica's caregiver were in the house when it happened. Mrs. Quarles doesn't agree with the police report. "Everybody kept telling me it was an accident, but I just don't feel like it was."

And police aren't sure now either. Lt. Young says they taking a second, more serious look at Jessica Quarles' death.

And remember the second hit police say Quarles wanted on his girlfriend's husband. It turns out, say police, that girlfriend was the deceased daughter's caregiver.

"I don't think this over for Mr. Quarles," says Lt. Young. "I don't think this over for several people."

And it's not over for Mrs. Quarles either. A woman who says her only hope for a normal life means that the man who once slept next to her must now stay behind bars for good.

"I don't want you to get out.  I want you to sit and think about what you did and how you got there."

Mrs. Quarles says she is filing for divorce as soon as possible.