Pelahatchie Woman Pleads Guilty in Murder-for-Hire Plot

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Jackson, Miss. – A Pelahatchie woman pled guilty to using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of a murder-for-hire, announced United States Attorney Darren J. LaMarca and Special Agent in Charge Jermicha Fomby of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Jackson Field Office.

According to court records, Jessica Leeann Sledge, 40, pled guilty this morning before United States District Judge Carlton W. Reeves.  Sledge admitted that, between September 2021 and November 1, 2021, in the Southern District of Mississippi, she used facilities of interstate commerce with the intent to hire an assassin to murder an individual in Mississippi. Sledge used the internet, her cell phone and the “Whatsapp” application to arrange a murder-for-hire.  Unknown to Sledge, the “hitman” she hired via the internet to commit a murder was in fact an FBI Special Agent. On November 1, 2021, Sledge met in Brandon, Mississippi, with the individual she thought was the assassin she had hired in order to provide an additional payment and to provide additional information concerning her intended victim. The intended victim was ultimately unharmed.  Following her arrest, Sledge waived her rights and admitted to her role in the murder-for-hire plot.

Sledge will be sentenced on May 16, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. She faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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