If the accusations made against 63-year-old Trinidad resident Raymond E. Bradshaw are true, he badly wanted to kill his estranged wife. So badly, in fact, that he was willing to involve higher powers—-and his mentally disabled nephew.

Bradshaw’s 20-year marriage to his wife had been on the rocks since at least 2010, when they separated and she later filed for divorce. 2010, incidentally, is also allegedly when he started contemplating having her killed.

But his plan escalated, according to witnesses, this September when Bradshaw told his sister that he had been trying to kill his wife with voodoo and another form of magic called “rootwork,” to little success.

“This shit ain’t working,” Bradshaw allegedly complained to her, according to his arrest warrant. “I’m going to have to take a contract.”

With his magical efforts foundering, Bradshaw allegedly approached his sister to see if her 16-year-old, mentally handicapped son would do the grisly deed. According to an appeals court ruling on Bradshaw’s detention, he reasoned that his nephew, presumably since he was underage and mentally disadvantaged, would receive a shorter sentence if he was caught. Bradshaw also allegedly talked to his niece about recruiting another hired killer.

But whatever murder-for-hire plans Bradshaw had must be on hold now. He was charged on Sept. 13 with solicitation of murder, and his attempts to be released from custody have so far failed.

Voodoo picture by Shutterstock