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Woman gets prison for hiring hitman
A press release from the U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren:TOPEKA, KAN. - Krista M. Harris, 21, was sentenced Thursday to 70 months in federal prison for trying to hire a man to kill her former boyfriend.She was sentenced during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Julie A. Robinson."Ms. Harris told an undercover agent posing as a contract killer that she wanted her former boyfriend 'dead gone,' " said U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren. "She was not interested in anything less violent."In September 2006, Harris pleaded guilty to one count of using a telephone to negotiate a murder for hire deal. In her plea, Harris acknowledged that investigators first learned of her plans in December 2005 when the Kansas Bureau of Investigation contacted the Lawrence Police Department. Harris had told a confidential informant working with investigators that she wanted him to kill her former boyfriend, who she said had held her at gun point while he stole narcotics and cash from her. The informant arranged for Harris to talk on the phone with an investigator who pretended to make arrangements to provide an untraceable gun to be used in the murder.On Dec. 2, 2005, Harris was recorded on the phone arranging to meet the undercover investigator in a parking lot at the Dillon's grocery store in Lawrence. She was to pick up the gun and to deliver a photo of the man she wanted killed. During the call, she said she and her boyfriend used to sell narcotics together but that after they had a falling out he robbed her at gun point. During the meeting at the grocery store, Harris was recorded declining t he undercover investigator's offer to beat up her former boyfriend instead of killing him. During the meeting she agreed to pay the undercover agent for the murder by giving him about $120 worth of crack cocaine. She was arrested after that meeting."The ATF is pleased to have participated in this investigation with the Lawrence Police Department and to have thwarted a violent crime," said ATF Special Agent in Charge Mike Boxler.Melgren commended the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lawrence Police Department, which investigated the case, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Coody, who is prosecuting.