A love triangle almost came to a deadly end for one Lancaster man.
The Lancaster County Sheriff’s office received an anonymous tip about a murder plot fueled by jealousy. Authorities were told Joseph Ray Hegler was planning on murdering his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.
The anonymous informant claimed to be friends with Hegler but said that once he knew Hegler was serious about following through with his plan, he felt it was necessary to contact the authorities.
According to the informant, Hegler had been planning the murder for about two weeks. The subject said that Hegler had a machete, night stick, baton, baseball bats, knifes, gloves, cleaning supplies and concrete bags, in addition to a .22 caliber pistol. Hegler’s intent was to wait at the boyfriend’s house until he returned one evening. Prior to the boyfriend’s arrival, Hegler would place sticks or branches in the driveway forcing the boyfriend to exit his vehicle. Once the boyfriend got out of the car, Hegler would approach him, force him back into the car and instruct him to drive to a remote location off of Tabernacle Road so they can "have a talk". Hegler’s plan was to commit the murder after the talk.
Hegler informed the anonymous subject that he got rid of the .22 caliber pistol because he didn’t like how it operated. The subject said Hegler was looking for another pistol, but did have at his residence a .22 caliber single shot long rifle. Hegler told the informant that if he could not find another pistol, he would use whatever he had.
Once Hegler murdered the boyfriend, he planned to cut his body into pieces with an axe and put the pieces into trash bags. The informant said Hegler planned to wrap the head in a towel or some sort of cloth. He was then going to make concrete blocks holding the body parts then toss them into a river or pond.
Authorities contacted the boyfriend to alert him of the murder plot. When the boyfriend was asked about his and Hegler’s relationship, he confirmed that they used to be friends until he began dating the unnamed female.
As authorities outlined the murder plot to the boyfriend, he mentioned discovering sticks in his driveway a couple nights ago. He said he got out of his car and moved the sticks. Confused he asked his mother about the sticks and she said she knew nothing about them. Authorities instructed the boyfriend to watch his back and report anything suspicious.
When the anonymous subject was contacted again, he told the police that the murder plot would be carried out that night according to Hegler. The subject asked authorities to meet him so he could show them where Hegler planned to murder the boyfriend and dismember the body.Authorities then began to search for Hegler who was later apprehended near the Buford Crossroads on Pageland Highway in the parking lot of a gas station. Police found numerous weapons, gas can full of gas, latex gloves, and other blunt objects.