by: Dave Faherty Updated:
ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. - Deputies have accused a great-grandfather with trying to hire a hit-man to commit murder in Alexander County.
Jackie Fox, 70, was arrested during a traffic stop not far from his home and is locked up under a $750,000 bond. Deputies said they moved very quickly to arrest Fox, fearing someone could end up being hurt.
Eyewitness News spoke with shocked family members Wednesday.
"I was in shock. I cannot believe this," said Fox’s wife, Geraldine.
The Foxes have been married 52 years. Geraldine came to the jail Wednesday to bring Jackie his medication -- hours after he was charged with solicitation to commit murder.
"It's not my husband. Who would do something like that? I've known him for 54 years and he is a sweetheart," she said.
Investigators said Fox tried to pay someone $2,500 to kill a man who owed him money. They said it was a tip that led them to begin their investigation earlier this week.
Authorities are releasing few details about their investigation but said they have a solid case against Fox.
"The information we received was very serious and we felt we needed to respond quickly as possible," said Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman.
Neighbors couldn't believe the news of the arrest.
"I go to church with him every once in a while, every Sunday he is there," said Fox’s neighbor, Kelly Cannon.
Geraldine believes her husband may have become confused from his medication and is asking for prayers tonight for her family and answers in the case.
"I don't think he did this. He says he didn't do this and for everyone just to pray for him," she said.
Deputies executed a search warrant at Fox's house in the Bethlehem community where his wife said they seized several of his firearms.
Fox remains locked up in the county jail.