Mississippi woman pleads guilty in murder-for-hire scheme

Published 5:00 pm Monday, February 7, 2022

(AP) — A Mississippi woman pleaded guilty Monday to a charge in an unsuccessful murder-for-hire scheme, federal authorities said.
Jessica Leeann Sledge, 40, of Pelahatchie, appeared before U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves and pleaded to a charge of using interstate commerce facilities in commission of a killing.
The intended victim was ultimately unharmed, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Jackson office, Jermicha Fomby.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 16. Sledge faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Sledge admitted that between September 2021 and Nov. 1, 2021, she tried to hire a supposed assassin to kill a person in Mississippi, according to the news release. It said she used the internet, her cellphone and the Whatsapp app.
Unknown to Sledge, the alleged hitman she hired was an FBI agent. On Nov. 1, 2021, Sledge met in Brandon with the person she thought was the assassin to provide payment and information about her intended victim.
After her arrest, Sledge waived her rights and admitted to her role in the plot. Authorities didn’t identify the intended victim or indicate why Sledge wanted the person killed.

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