New details emerge in murder for hire case



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:33 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 4:53 PM

It's like something out of a Hollywood movie

SHOSHONE -- It's playing out like a scene from a movie. An attempted murder and an alleged murder for hire. Thursday in the Lincoln County Courthouse, one of three suspects in the case appeared in court.

Traci Hadden, 34, is accused of aiding and abetting an attempted murder and solicitation of murder of a police officer, in the shooting of her former father-in-law Craig Hadden.

During today's preliminary hearing, four witnesses took the stand including the victim and a confidential informant. That informant is a former Canyon County undercover officer who happened to be neighbors with the suspect.

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It's like a scene out of a Hollywood movie, but it was really happening.

A mother, her son, and her alleged teenage lover -- all charged in a plot that includes an attempted murder and murder-for-hire.

There are two cases -- one involving a prominent Shoshone businessman, and the other a Shoshone County Sheriff's deputy.

Undercover agents and confidential informants were used to lure the defendants to speak. And they say the three accused of being involved divulged all the details.

"I was shot four times, really quite rapidly. The first shot was in my left shoulder, the second was in my right shoulder, the third was in my right shoulder, the fourth shot was in my forearm," said Craig Hadden.

On April 1, 2009, Craig Hadden walked out his front door to gunfire.

After the first two shots, Hadden fell to the ground, only to be hit twice more.

"I said to myself, damn they are evidently going to keep shooting me," said Craig Hadden.

After the shooting, 911 was called and deputies arrived on scene.

"I told him that I didn't know who had shot me," said Craig Hadden.

The victim was asked if he suspected anyone.

"I was sure it was Traci Hadden," Hadden replied.

Sure, because he says Traci Hadden, his former daughter-in-law had been stealing from him for 15 years and recently he had a restraining order filed against her.

While police were able to confirm that neither Traci Hadden, nor her son Blue had pulled the trigger, a next door neighbor, who happened to be a former sheriff's deputy, became a confidant to the suspects and provided confidential information to police.

"Blue had seen me outside smoking on this evening and he asked to talk to me and we went to the middle of the yard and he said, ' alright I know who shot my grandpa,' and I responded 'who?' He said 'Mikey,'" testified an AFT agent.

Sixteen-year-old Mike Cannon, Blue's friend and Traci's alleged lover.

"Mikey responded, 'oh yeah,' he kind of smiled and Mikey responded by telling me, 'yeah it was easy,'" said the ATF agent.

The boys believed their neighbor was a member of the Hells Angels, a biker gang the teens wanted to join. Blue was supposedly looking for his help to have a Shoshone Police officer killed for allegedly harassing his family and making comments about his sister.

"He indicated that he wanted the police officer killed, I cautioned him, he said, 'killed, yes dead, killed.' I said that's a pretty big deal sure you don't want me to break his legs so he will leave you alone and he said, 'no, I want him dead,'" said the ATF agent.

This undercover AFT agent posed as a Hells Angels hit man who was willing to kill the officer for $10,000. The agent met with the three suspects once in a Jerome hotel room and then days later had enough to make the arrests.

"I know the intent of Blue Hadden and Traci Hadden was do harm to a Shoshone Police officer and hire me to do it," said the ATF agent.

There are so many twists and turns, even the judge pointed out this was a crazy case. After today's preliminary hearing, Traci Hadden remains in jail on all charges.

Traci Hadden is being held in the Mini-Cassia Jail.

Mike Cannon, 16, who is believed to have pulled the trigger will be tried as an adult.

Hadden's 15-year-old son faces a number of charges as well. He is being held in the Snake River juvenile facility.