A millionaire Bethesda developer who holds an array of real estate and business interests in Maryland and three other states was arraigned yesterday in a Colorado state District Court in Denver after he was indicted Thursday in connection with an alleged murder-for-hire plot against his wife.
Arthur C. Hyde, 68, owner of Hyde Park Airport in Clinton and the Congressional Corporation in Rockville, was charged with criminal solicitation and released on $25,000 bond after flying to Denver from Maryland and surrendering himself yesterday.
According to the indictment Hyde allegedly asked and paid a Denver detective to locate someone to kill his wife, Mary Ann Hyde, 50, of Aspen, Colo. Hyde originally had hired the detective in early October to investigate his wife, who is currently suing her husband for divorce. The Hydes have been separated for nearly two years.
The indictment charges that Hyde proposed the subject of murder to the detective on Oct. 12. The detective, William Furman, then contacted police.
"I was shocked, really," Furman said yesterday. "I didn't think he was serious at first." After susbequent meetings between the two men a deal was arranged whereby Hyde would pay $10,000 to the proposed hit men and $500 to Furman who would arrange the killing, according to the indictment.
According to Denver police detective J.C. Tyus the alleged plot was devised to save Hyde a large amount of money that he feared a divorce settlement might cost him. The first hearing on the Hyde divorce was held Oct. 15 in Aspen but the matter was postponed until March 1979.
William Keating, a Denver lawyer representing Hyde, said yesterday than Hyde is suffering from a heart ailment and was scheduled to fly to Bethesda last night to see his physician. Prterial hearings were scheduled for Dec. 18.
Hyde has been active in aviation, real estate and private business development for the last three decades. During World War II he organized the Civil Air Patrol in Maryland and managed the Army and Navy pilot training center school in Martinsburg, W. Va. In addition to the Hyde Park airport he developed the Leesburg, Va. airport.
In addition to extensive real estate interests in Florida, Arizona and Colorado, Hyde owns the Congressional Corporation which encompasses four separate real estate and commercial enterprises, all base in Rockville. Hyde is also an active director of Avemco Group, a Bethesda-based company that includes insurance, real estate and aircraft investment firms.
At one time Hyde had also maintained active membership in the the Washington Board of Trade, the Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, the Congressional Country Club, the Potomac Hunt Club and the National Aviation Club.
He maintains residences in Denver and Bethesda.