A man convicted of numerous burglaries in three counties faces four life sentences for his crimes.
In a Louisa courtroom Thursday, 25-year-old Marcus Houchens pleaded guilty - but authorities say he did everything he could to fight it, including plotting a big jail escape.
Authorities say he broke into several homes using a gun that had been stolen from police and took thousands of dollars worth of weapons and household items.
While in jail, Houchens wrote dozens of letters to family and friends asking them to lie on his behalf in court.
Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney, Rusty McGuire shared a five page letter Houchen's addressed to "wifey," his girlfriend.
In the letter, Houchens tells his witness girlfriend to discredit another witness by accusing him of stealing and using drugs.
He writes: "you need to say all of the same things I just said. All, everything to a 'T'. Also, you never ever witnessed me with a gun."
Houchens was caught after trying to sell his stolen goods to a pawn shop. This investigation has been going on for almost two years.
McGuire says he has gotten death threats from Marcus Houchens.
"This person has been a menace, has been very difficult person to deal with since the beginning of the proceeding to date. It was so bad, during his last court appearance, the judge had him forcibly removed from the courtroom," said McGuire.
Nearly 30 letters were sent to family members who were witnesses as well.
"The goal was to tell them specifically what to say, each different piece of the puzzle to support his alibi or his trying to discredit the witnesses," said McGuire.
Detectives caught on.
"Detective Scott Reynolds from Louisa County Sheriff's Office went up to all these witnesses and said, you, you, you, and you, all under arrest," said McGuire.
After Houchens realized what happened to his witnesses he tried to get an inmate to help him escape the Central Virginia Regional Jail. But he didn't get very far - that inmate told on him.
These burglaries were committed in Louisa, Fluvanna, and Albemarle counties. Convicted on all counts, Houchens faces four life sentences and up to 125 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for November 1.
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