Report details man's alleged plot to kill romantic rival

Credit: Lancaster County Detention Center

Joseph Ray Hegler


by Staff

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 13 at 5:37 PM

LANCASTER, S.C. -- The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office has released the report related to a man's alleged plot to kidnap and murder his ex-girlfriend's new beau.

On Sunday, the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office arrested 19-year-old Joseph Ray Hegler.

The incident report details Hegler's alleged plan to kidnap and murder his romantic rival.

An anonymous tipster, who stated they were friends with Hegler, informed authorities of the plan when they realized he may be serious about executing it, authorities say.

In the report dated April 28, 2014, the tipster told investigators Hegler planned to wait at the victim's home until he returned, then kidnap him and take him to a remote location.

Hegler planned to place sticks and branches in the intended victim's driveway, the report states, then, when the victim returned home and began to remove the sticks and branches, Hegler planned to approach him with a gun and force the victim to drive to a remote location off Tabernacle Road.

The tipster continued that Hegler then planned to have "a talk" with his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend before shooting him or somehow murdering him, according to the incident report.

Hegler then planned to cut the body into pieces with an axe and place them in trash bags, and wrapping the head in a towel or cloth, the narrative states.

Then, Hegler allegedly planned to make concrete blocks with the hacked body parts before disposing of them into a river or pond.

The tipster then told authorities that the only part of the plot Hegler hadn't quite figured out was what to do with the vehicle.

After speaking with the informant, investigators spoke with Hegler's ex-girlfriend, who shared with them a time when Hegler showed up at her school, where he was not a student, freely walked in and gave her flowers, completely undetected, according to the incident report.

Then, investigators paid a visit to the alleged victim. The man told officials that he and Hegler were classmates, and were friends until about a month ago when he began to date Hegler's ex, and that Hegler hadn't spoken to him since.

The investigator informed the intended victim of the alleged kidnapping and murder plot, and advised that he watch his back, authorities say.

When the investigator got detailed on how Hegler allegedly planned to murder him, the man stated that a few nights ago, he came home to find sticks and branches strewn across his driveway. He got out of his car and moved all the sticks, he told officials.

At this point, the investigator circled back around to the original informant and requested a written statement. That's when the tipster told authorities that Hegler had contacted him and said the plot was to happen tonight (Sunday).

A short time later, a red pickup truck was pulled over at a gas station; Hegler was inside the vehicle.

The Sheriff's Office says they found an axe, a machete, knives, baseball bats, a full, five-gallon gas can, latex gloves, gardening gloves, and other blunt objects in the bed of the truck.

Hegler was placed under arrest.

Investigators then executed a search warrant upon Hegler's home. Hegler's brother was at the home at the time, and told investigators that a red car outside belonged to him, and that it had been broken down for several weeks. Based on information from the tipster that the concrete mix Hegler allegedly intended to use in his plot was in the trunk of red vehicle, authorities asked to search it.

The brother complied, and officials say he seemed genuinely surprised to see six 10-pound bags of sacrete concrete mix in the trunk.

Hegler is charged with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping.

Click here to read the original story on Hegler's alleged kidnapping and murder plot.