A fatal case of mistaken identity has landed three men behind bars.

Authorities say 59-year-old Joseph Rosebrook, 45-year-old Chad South and 57-year-old Carl Rosebrook were indicted yesterday in connection with an alleged contract killing nine years ago. The three men were indicted on charges of aggravated murder, kidnapping and conspiracy to commit aggravated murder. They are being held in jail.

Investigators say Joseph Rosebrook hired Chad South in 2006 to kill a man named Daniel Ott for his willingness to testify against Rosebrook, which forced Rosebrook to plead guilty to a conspiracy charge.

But the hit man went to the wrong house and killed the wrong man – a different Daniel Ott.

The Associated Press reported:

It took wiretaps, the help of state investigators and dogged determination to finally slap handcuffs on the three men, [Geauga County Sheriff Dan McClelland] said. The case took so long to solve because promising leads went nowhere thanks to Joe Rosebrook's terrifying reputation. McClelland said Rosebrook specialized in witness intimidation and that he remains a suspect in the death of an associate killed in 1999 after he cooperated with authorities in an earlier criminal case against Rosebrook.

"Detectives repeatedly ran into the phrase, 'I know what you want, but they will kill me,'" McClelland said. "Witnesses flat out refused to talk."

The Daniel Ott who the hit man was paid to kill has survived two assassination attempts, the sheriff said. He would not say where that Daniel Ott lives for his protection.

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