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A former Falls Church Democratic Party chairman, charged with molesting two young girls, allegedly talked about hiring a hit man to kill the girls before they could be witnesses at his trial.
An inmate who was incarcerated with Michael Gardner told authorities about Gardner’s interest in hiring a hit man, prosecutor Nicole Wittmann said.
Wittmann said that, according to the inmate, Gardner asked the inmate to help him hire someone to kill the two girls before his trial, which is scheduled for March 4.
She said she did not know whether Gardner ever actually contacted a hit man.
Gardner, whose wife was once mayor of Falls Church, was convicted in 2012 of molesting two girls, who were 9 and 10 years old at the time, during a slumber party for his daughter’s 10th birthday.
He was sentenced to 22 years in prison. Then his conviction was overturned by the state Supreme Court, which said the trial judge improperly stopped Gardner’s defense attorney from asking character witnesses about Gardner’s reputation for taking good care of children. He was granted a new trial.