A Cottage Grove man charged with killing his wife after an unsuccessful internet murder-for-hire plot was back in jail Wednesday after allegedly trying to track the couple’s 9-year-old son with a smartwatch.
Stephen Carl Allwine, 43, was charged Jan. 18 with shooting Amy Louise Allwine in the head at their house in November and allegedly disguising her death as a suicide. Charges in Washington County District Court came after an extensive investigation into Allwine’s alleged plot, for which he allegedly did online searches on what’s known as the Dark Web to find someone to kill his wife.
Allwine had been released from jail after posting a conditional $500,000 bail on the second-degree murder charges. But police arrested him Monday, said Fred Fink, criminal division chief in the county attorney’s office, after authorities found he had tried to get in touch with his son. Allwine had been told to have no unsupervised visits with the boy.
Allwine appeared Wednesday in front of Judge Mary Hannon. She raised unconditional bail to $1.5 million — originally $1 million — and conditional bail to $600,000. The judge ordered Allwine to have no contact with his son or Amy Allwine’s parents.
The victim’s parents, who now have custody of the boy, notified law enforcement that Stephen Allwine had contacted them and asked that they “charge up the GizmoGadget smartwatch and program his phone number in there as well,” Fink said.
The smartwatch can receive and send telephone calls and it allows GPS tracking of its wearer, he said.
Fink argued in court that Allwine’s attempted contact of his son was especially worrisome because of Allwine’s skills with digital technology and the nature of the case against him.
Allwine is an internet technology specialist who worked from his basement. Detectives who executed a search warrant found “a large amount of computer equipment, which appeared to be very sophisticated and technologically advanced,” the charges said.