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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Mississippi

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Jackson Woman Pleads Guilty in Murder for Hire Plot

 

Jackson, Miss. – Velma White, 32, of Jackson, pled guilty today before Chief U.S. District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III, to four counts of using a communications facility, a cellphone, to carry out a murder for hire plot, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Dana Nichols, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

On August 23, 2017, White contacted, via text messages from her cellular telephone, an undercover officer whom she believed to be a "hit-man." During a phone call, White explained to the undercover officer that she wanted her half-brother murdered, and she agreed to pay the undercover officer approximately $10,000 for the murder. Over the next few days, White and the undercover officer discussed and planned out the murder of White’s half-brother, with White given multiple opportunities to back out. However, White only affirmed her commitment to the murder scheme. White revealed that she was attempting to murder her half-brother in order to collect the proceeds of a $50,000 life insurance policy for which she was the sole beneficiary. White agreed to pay the undercover officer once she collected the life insurance money. White also expressed to the undercover officer her willingness to assist in other murder for hire plots in exchange for money.

"The swift actions and cooperation among our local and federal law enforcement agencies literally saved a person’s life and protected the public from a criminal who chose personal greed over human life. We will continue to be vigilant, expeditious and collaborative in investigating and prosecuting those who commit federal crimes," said U.S. Attorney Hurst.

White will be sentenced by Judge Jordan on May 21, 2018, at 9 a.m., and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with assistance from the Pearl Police Department, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshals Service. Assistant United States Attorney Carla J. Clark is prosecuting the case.

Updated February 20, 2018