LAMPASAS - The murder-for-hire plot that unfolded at a Kempner VFW Hall in July 2007 was supposed to happen months earlier at an Alltel store in Temple where the murder victim worked, but the would-be shooter was uncomfortable with the location, according to testimony Tuesday in the capital murder trial of Donald Dean Gower. Gower's wife, Hidi Gower, was shot dead outside the VFW hall on July 4 while fireworks burst in the distance and he played a game of pool inside. Mrs. Gower had gone outside to get eye drops for Gower and never returned. Gower pleaded innocent to the charge at the outset of the trial on Monday, but testimony on Tuesday from his former fiancée and a man who said he drove the getaway vehicle revealed that Gower may have talked about killing his wife several times and with several different people. In June, a Copperas Cove man, Chaka Johnson, was sentenced to life in prison for his role as shooter in the murder. Johnson had been out of state jail less than a month when he was charged with the crime. John Robert Martinez testified Tuesday he was first approached about killing Gower's wife during a drug deal at Boston's restaurant in Killeen in March 2007. "He said he would offer me $25,000 to kill his wife," Martinez said. "He told me where she worked, at Alltel in Temple. What kind of car she drove, things like that. He told me her name. He told me the time she would go to work and get home from work." Gower had a $110,000 life insurance policy on his wife. Martinez and Jeremiah John Ellison also have been charged with murder in connection with the case and have pretrial hearings scheduled for Sept. 5 and 26. Ellison, Johnson's brother-in-law, was living with the Gowers when Mrs. Gower was gunned down. He served as a middle man in the plot, according to Martinez's testimony. Martinez said he met with Gower at least three times between the first meeting at Boston's and the killing. They met at some apartments in Killeen and Harker Heights and at a motel in Copperas Cove, and each time Ellison also was present and the men talked about Martinez killing Mrs. Gower, Martinez said. Martinez described casing an Alltel store in Temple, checking for cameras in the parking lot. When Gower told him the employees always left the store in pairs, the location changed. He said he originally got involved in the scheme hoping to dupe Gower out of some money. After being apprised of the plot he was afraid to get out of it for fear he would be retaliated against by others involved in the planning. At one point Martinez told Gower he needed a gun and Gower gave him $250 to buy one, Martinez said. Gower's former fiancée, Regina Edwards of Waco, testified that before Gower drove her and her children to a choir concert at her son's school, he stopped in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven store on Willow Springs Road in Killeen and passed a white envelope off to Ellison and another man in a white truck. Martinez said he was the other man in the truck and that he used the money in the envelope to purchase a .45-caliber revolver and six bullets. "As far as I know, he was giving Jeremiah some money because he wasn't working and it was supposed to be a loan," Ms. Edwards said. Ms. Edwards, a former substitute teacher and aide, was arrested and charged with murder in July 2007, but was released after spending 61 days in jail. The murder charge was dropped within two weeks because officers did not have evidence she knew enough about the plot to warrant being held criminally responsible. She had contact with all of the men charged in the case before and after the shooting, and had been intimate with both Gower and Johnson. "I knew the pieces of the puzzle," she said. "I just didn't know where they fit." Ms. Edwards said she learned about Mrs. Gower's death on July 5 during a text message exchange with Gower. Before telling Ms. Edwards his wife had been slain, Gower texted her that his wife had won two games of pool. In addition, he explained he was upset because he had been up all night and he inferred that police took some of his wife's rings when they gave him her personal effects. It wasn't until Ms. Edwards asked what happened that Gower explained his wife had been mugged and shot dead. Martinez explained his role the night of the shooting in great detail. He said he drove Johnson to the VFW hall and dropped him off. Martinez described driving up and down the street and even back into the parking lot before he found Johnson hiding on the side of the road. While in the parking lot he said he saw Mrs. Gower's body lying on the ground next to Gower's pickup. Martinez said Johnson told him he shot Mrs. Gower three times, including once in the head after she fell to the ground. "He (Johnson) told me to wipe down the gun real good," Martinez said. "I took out the three empty shells, wiped them down real good and put them inside a KFC cup, and I threw them away." The clothes Johnson was wearing when he committed the crime were thrown away at a car wash in Copperas Cove, Martinez said. By the time the shooting happened, Martinez said Gower had lowered the price to $10,000. He said he and Johnson planned to get $4,500 each with Ellison getting a $1,000 share. Gower, a sergeant first class stationed at Fort Hood, wore his green military dress uniform to the trial, which will resume today at 9 a.m. in 27th State District Court with Judge Joe Carroll presiding.