Officer plotted to blackmail wife; she plotted his murder

A Pennsylvania police officer and his wife have pleaded guilty to charges accusing her of plotting to kill her husband and him of plotting to blackmail her over having sex with a 14-year-old boy.

Keith Transue, 43, pleaded guilty last week to misdemeanor criminal coercion. Meanwhile, Robin Transue, also 43, pleaded guilty to felony solicitation to commit aggravated assault and statutory sexual assault.

Authorities say in court documents that Mrs Transue told an informant her husband threatened to expose her 2010 relationship with her underage lover if she left him. 

Prosecutors say she suggested several ways to kill her husband, including a drug overdose or a hunting accident.

The Bushkill Township police officer and his wife are scheduled for sentencing on March 20. Keith remains free on unsecured bail, while Robin was released home after posting $50,000 bail.

Transue, who has been with the Bushkill Township Police Department since 2005, remains on paid leave. 

The case began unfolding last year after a friend of the Transues, identified in a statement released by the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney as Richard Warner, went to the authorities, claiming that Robin had approached him asking to kill her husband Keith.

Detectives with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department put a wire on Warner and had him meet with Robin Transue in the hopes of capturing details of the murder-for-hire plot on tape.

According to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office, Robin met with the informant on multiple occasions, and each time ‘freely talked about arranging for her husband’s murder.’

Besides the overdose and hunting accident scenarios, Robin floated several other schemes intended to cause her husband’s untimely demise, including tampering with Keith Transue’s car so he would have an accident on his way to work, slipping him a medication that would make it seem as if he had a heart attack and staging his suicide with the aid of the anti-anxiety drug Valium.

According to the prosecution, Mrs Transue was ‘adamant’ about having her husband killed because she said ‘she had a whole new future picked out.’

It emerged during the investigation that Robin wanted to get rid of her husband because Keith had learned about her 2010 affair with the minor, who was the son of a friend, and was holding that information over his wife’s head to prevent her from leaving him.

Prosecutors say that in 2010, Robin had sex on multiple occasions with the 14-year-old, and when her husband later found out about it, he convinced the child’s parents not to report the abuse to the authorities and threatened the teen to keep mum.

‘He would later tell a fellow police officer that he had dirt on his wife that he would use if she tried to leave him,’ the DA’s press release read. ‘As problems in the marriage continued to mount, Robin became more desperate. She had looked up the statute of limitations for her sexual crimes and realized the time wasn’t close to running out.’

Robin continued to plot to kill her husband. She would tell Warner that they could make Keith’s death look like a hunting accident and offered to bring him a gun and ammunition, and to direct him to the areas her husband would hunt.

During her final recorded meeting with the informant, Robin recounted how she took her husband, who she said has a history of depression, to a psychologist to make it ‘look like she was a concerned and caring wife.’

The 43-year-old wife is heard saying on the wiretap that when she and Keith went to a shopping center, she would hold his hand and hug him each time she saw a surveillance camera ‘to make her look good.’

She goes into detail on how she needs to test the potency and see how Valium will dissolve and taste, according to a summary of the recording written by the detectives.

‘Robin also talked at length on DNA, and not leaving fingerprints and evidence and destroying the gun after [the killing,’ according to the account of the conversation.

‘She stated if the house caught fire with him inside, it would be “priceless and fantastic” and she could get about a quarter million dollars from the insurance company,’ the DA’s statement reads.

Robin Transue was charged with solicitation to commit aggravated assault and statutory sexual assault in January. Her husband was charged with criminal coercion in May.