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Columbus woman indicted in murder-for-hire plot

Kelly Harper

COLUMBUS (WKOW) -- A Columbus woman was federally indicted Wednesday in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Kelly Harper, 37, was previously charged in a complaint filed in U.S. District Court.  Federal law requires that offenses charged by complaint be presented to a grand jury for indictment.  

A federal grand jury in the Western District of Wisconsin says Harper used a murder-for-hire site on the dark web between October 19 and December 10 and paid in bitcoin to have someone killed.

The complaint alleged that Harper provided a description of the intended victim, details about the victim’s vehicle, where the victim worked, and the victim’s cell phone number.  The scheme was uncovered by journalists investigating the murder-for-hire site, and they were able to warn the victim.  The scheme was reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sun Prairie Police Department in January.

Harper was arrested on February 5 and remains in custody.  Her arraignment has been set for Tuesday, February 16.

If convicted, Harper faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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