Arkansas grandmother accused of trying to order hit on ex-son-in-law

Arkansas grandmother accused of trying to order hit on ex-son-in-law

October 29, 2020

An Arkansas woman is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her former son-in-law to prevent him from gaining custody of her granddaughter, authorities said.

Jeri Dianna Tarter, 69, of Jacksonville was charged with the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported on Wednesday.

Tarter allegedly contacted a man she had met 15 years earlier who worked as a security guard at a club where her daughter was a bartender, authorities said.

On Oct. 7, she met the man at a Chili’s restaurant in Little Rock and told him her daughter was locked in a heated custody battle with her former son-in-law, according to an affidavit.

Tarter allegedly asked the man to either “take care of him” or “find somebody who can” — but instead, he went to law enforcement, authorities said.

An FBI agent then listened in on a call between the man and Tarter, in which he told her he knew someone in Memphis, Tennessee, who “might be sympathetic” to her situation, the outlet reported.

Another agent posing as the Memphis man then contacted Tarter the next day and arranged to meet up with her in the parking lot of a Walmart, the affidavit said.

She allegedly gave him $100 for driving to meet her, then implied to the undercover agent that she “wanted her former son-in-law to suffer an accident.”

Tarter allegedly told the agent that she was not afraid to go to prison “and would do it herself if she were younger or 80 pounds lighter,” according to the affidavit.

They then discussed ways it could be carried out without being traced back to her, with the grandmother insisting that she “wanted it done before the coming weekend,” authorities allege.

She allegedly offered to pay the agent $1,500, but he said it would run her $2,000, and asked for $500 of the cash in advance to buy a new gun, authorities said.

Authorities said she went to an ATM to get him the $500, and then texted him her former son-in-law’s address the following day.

A warrant was issued for her arrest Oct. 22, and she was taken into custody the next day, the outlet reported.

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