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Pelahatchie woman sentenced to 10 years in prison for murder-for-hire ploy

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of Mississippi

A Mississippi woman has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in a murder-for-hire assignment.

40-year-old Jessica Leeann Sledge of Pelahatchie originally pled guilty back in December to using interstate commerce facilities to hire an assassin to kill her now ex-husband. On Monday, she was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves to 120 months in prison, including three years of supervised release and a $1,000 fine.

Between September 2021 and November 2021, Sledge used the instant messaging service known as “Whatsapp” to arrange a murder-for-hire. Unbeknownst to Sledge, the “hitman” she hired was an FBI Special Agent. On November 1, 2021, Sledge met with the individual she thought was the assassin in order to provide additional payments and to give additional information regarding her intended victim.

Fortunately, the intended victim was essentially unharmed. Following her arrest, Sledge waived her rights and admitted to her role in the murder-for-hire scheme.

The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Dave Fulcher. According to Fulcher, Sledge told the agent she believed to be a hit man that she was in a two-year relationship with another man and would be getting married following the hit.

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