Jessica Leeann Sledge Pelahatchie Mississippi woman arrested in murder for hire plot according to US prosecutors. Woman busted after unwittingly hiring FBI agent on the internet.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Wednesday, Jessica Leeann Sledge of Pelahatchie allegedly used the internet in an attempt to hire an assassin to murder someone in Mississippi.
Sledge, dressed in a dark orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles, appeared before Federal Magistrate Keith Ball Wednesday, where the judge determined she should remain behind bars until her preliminary hearing on Monday.
Until then, she will remain at the Madison County Jail WLBT reports.
‘Given the nature of the charge, this is not a charge I think it would be appropriate to let [the defendant] out until we have a detention hearing and a preliminary hearing,’ Keith Ball said.
Both hearings are slated for 2:30 p.m. Monday at U.S. District Court in downtown Jackson.
Attorney John Colette represents Sledge, and asked Ball if she could be released.
‘The affidavit said they began investigating this in September,’ he said. ‘They know she’s got no criminal history.’
Colette went on to point out conditions at the Madison County Jail, citing the condition of food and the lack of visitation.
Afterwards, Colette was seen speaking to his client prior to her being taken back into custody. He asked officers if Sledge would be able to speak to her mother, and was told no.
Sledge’s mother was sitting in an outside seat in the gallery. She declined to comment.
The 39-year-old is facing one felony count of the use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire.
If convicted, Sledge faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000, Ball said at Sledge’s initial appearance.
‘We’re going to look into it and into the validity of the charges,’ Colette said outside the courtroom.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the incident happened between September 2021 and Monday.
Unknown to Sledge, the ‘hitman’ she hired was an FBI Special Agent.
The US Attorney’s Office did not identify the intended victim or provide any other details about the alleged plot except to say the intended victim was never harmed.
The case is being prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Dave Fulcher.