The former president of Arizona Shower Door Inc., accused of plotting to kill his estranged wife, recently pled guilty to attempted kidnapping as part of a plea agreement. Fred “Spike” Knadler will face up to 15 years in prison when he appears before Maricopa County Superior Court Judge John Ditsworth for sentencing on January 10, says a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Per terms of the plea agreement, Knadler will face punishment for attempted kidnapping and domestic violence counts, but avoids the more serious charges of conspiracy to commit murder. His sentence is expected to run anywhere from five to 15 years, according to Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
Knadler’s wife of 18 years, Libia Knadler, will be among the victims to address the court prior to sentencing, Cobb said.
Cobb called the agreement as a “just resolution,” saying the majority of felony cases are resolved in a similar manner. The proposed punishment means that Knadler, 75, will likely live out his days incarcerated.
“Anytime the state has an opportunity to resolve a case in a manner that results in a just resolution and avoids the stress of trial, we try to do that,” Cobb said.
Robin Varcoe, the Phoenix-based attorney representing Knadler, did not return calls seeking comment.
Knadler was arrested on January 14, 2012, after police said he offered to pay one of his employees to kill his wife after she served him with divorce papers demanding a multimillion-dollar settlement.
Patrick King, the 45-year-old employee whom Knadler allegedly solicited, said he “had a strange feeling that Knadler was going to ask him” to kill his wife, according to court records. King immediately went to authorities after recording the conversation in which Knadler allegedly offered him thousands of dollars to kill his wife.
Knadler was still in jail last January when he allegedly sought help from another inmate in hiring a hit man to kill both Libia Knadler and King. An undercover Phoenix police detective posing as a hit man met in jail with Knadler, who offered to pay $10,000 to have them both killed, says Ed Novak, the Phoenix-based attorney representing Libia Knadler.
Fred Knadler was indicted on February 20, 2013, for the second murder conspiracy charge.
Novak says Fred Knadler had been physically and verbally abusive to his wife, especially after she refused to move out of the home the two shared, leading to the first attempt on her life. The couple has no children together.
Knadler resigned from the company shortly after his arrest. His son, Paul Knadler, who took over as president upon Fred Knadler’s resignation, spoke with USGNN.com™ shortly after the arrest about the distinction between his father, Fred, and the company he founded and how difficult the whole ordeal has been on the company and its employees.
“It’s important for people to realize that the core management team has not changed,” said Paul Knadler. “We have been in place for more than 20 years. Robert Goodsell has been here for 21 years. My brother, Peter, who is vice president, and I have been here for 25 years. We continue to run the company as we have during that time.”
Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for updates as they are made available.