Inmate accused of plotting murder

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Gwinnett County Detention Center inmate has been charged with attempting to hire someone to kill three people outside the jail, including his estranged wife.

Tamarat Martin-Argaw, 39, propositioned an undercover police officer inside the jail to kill the targeted people, said Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Darren Moloney.

Martin-Argaw is charged with at least two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder.

Information obtained from another inmate was used to launch the investigation, which led to the meeting between Martin-Argaw and the undercover officer, Moloney said.

Martin-Argaw's motive in having his wife and the others killed is unknown, Moloney said.

Completion of the incident report was pending as of Tuesday, and no further information was available, Moloney said.

As for Martin-Argaw, he was being held in the jail for charges related to a shooting that occurred in July at the home of his wife.

While the wife and two friends were dining on the back deck, Martin-Argaw, armed with a handgun, approached them and fired a single shot, according to a Gwinnett County police report.

The bullet hit the wife's female friend in the head when she stepped in the way to shield the wife, the report said.

The bullet grazed the top of the friend's head, but only wounded her, as the bullet did not penetrate the skull, the report said.

After the shooting, Martin-Argaw followed his wife, the injured friend and another man into the house and fired two more shots before the gun malfunctioned, the report said.

The report also said Martin-Argaw grabbed a samurai sword from inside the house and continued to look for his wife, who had exited the house and was hiding outside.

Martin-Argaw was found in Kentucky on Aug. 30 and extradited back to Gwinnett County. He was charged with aggravated stalking, aggravated assault, burglary and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime for the July incident, according to the police report.