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BELLINGHAM WOMAN SENTENCED TO NINE YEARS IN PRISON FOR MURDER-FOR-HIRE PLOT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2006

SHANNON HOLLISTER, 36, of Bellingham, Washington was sentenced September 28, 2006 to nine years in prison and three years of supervised release for Interstate Murder for Hire. According to the plea agreement, HOLLISTER attempted to hire a hit man from October, 2004 through January, 2005 to kill her ex-husband and his father. HOLLISTER was unaware the person she attempted to hire was a detective with the Clovis, New Mexico Police Department.

According to documents filed in the case, in August, 2004 HOLLISTER was working in Bovina, Texas at a chiropractic clinic. Staffers at the clinic joked that one of the patients knew a “hit man.” HOLLISTER contacted that patient in October 2004, asking for the phone number of the patients “friend” who would help her “take care of a problem.” The patient ultimately put HOLLISTER in touch with Detective Robbie Telles of the Clovis, New Mexico Police Department. After returning to Washington State, HOLLISTER made multiple phone calls to Telles, arranging a $5,000 price for the “hit” and suggesting a possible scheme to make the deaths look accidental. She suggested a natural gas explosion at their place of business. On January 29, 2005 HOLLISTER wired $5,000 to Telles in New Mexico. HOLLISTER was arrested later in the day.

HOLLISTER pleaded guilty July 20, 2005.

At sentencing, HOLLISTER’s ex-husband told the court how HOLLISTER had damaged her relationships and her two young daughters. In 2000, while Hollister and the ex-husband were having marital difficulties, HOLLISTER took her two daughters and went into hiding living at homeless shelters. She cut the hair of the 3-year-old daughter and pretended she was a boy, calling the girl “Brian” in public. HOLLISTER was charged with custodial interference. HOLLISTER’s ex-husband told the court that since she has been incarcerated pending sentencing, the family has been able to live “without the need to look over our shoulder.”

Assistant United States Attorney Bruce Miyake argued for a lengthy sentence saying that while HOLLISTER suffers from some mental disorder, her conduct in this case proves she is a danger to others. U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez agreed and sentenced HOLLISTER to the top of the guidelines range, 108 months. During the three year period of supervised release, HOLLISTER can have no contact with her ex-husband and his father.

The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Clovis, New Mexico Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Bruce F. Miyake prosecuted the case.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington, at (206)553-4110.

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