Woman accused in murder-for-hire plot to remain behind bars ‘until further notice’
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A Pelahatchie woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot shall remain behind bars until further notice.
An arraignment was held Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi for Jessica Leeann Sledge, a woman accused of attempting to hire a hitman to kill her husband online.
Magistrate Keith Ball set Sledge’s trial date for 9 a.m. January 24, before District Court Judge Carlton Reeves.
Ball denied a request from defense attorney John Colette to grant Sledge bond, despite new evidence the attorney planned to present.
Sledge is currently being held at the Madison County Jail and is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Office.
However, the judge signaled he would be willing to grant a second detention hearing for the 39-year-old if a motion was filed
“You are certainly free to file a motion for a detention hearing and I may very well grant one,” he said.
Court records also indicate she paid an unnamed person $10,000 in Bitcoin to carry out the hit and used WhatsApp to provide undercover agents with “multiple photos” of her husband and his vehicle.
The judge denied bond at a detention hearing on November 8, despite Colette’s request to allow Sledge to live with her mother, wear a monitoring device, avoid internet use and abide by a curfew.
At the time, Ball said her mother would be unable to monitor Sledge 24 hours a day, and that he believed “non-appearance is still an issue.”
Thursday, Colette was prepared to bring new testimony from Sledge’s mother and grandmother and was prepared to enter a letter from her employer. He said the new information should help alleviate the judge’s previous concerns.
An attorney for the government objected to the request, saying he would need more time to prepare a rebuttal.
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