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Press Release

Independence Woman Sentenced for Murder-for-Hire Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for using a telephone in the commission of a murder-for-hire scheme.

Teresa Owen, 63, of Independence, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to four years in federal prison without parole. Owen has been in federal custody without bail since her arrest on June 18, 2015.

Owen, who pleaded guilty on Sept. 23, 2016, admitted that she had contact with two separate individuals via telephone and offered them money to kill a person identified in court documents as “B.H.” Owen spoke with an acquaintance and later with an undercover police officer to discuss (or arrange to meet to discuss) the murder of B.H.

Owen also admitted that she met with an undercover officer in Independence on June 10 and 11, 2015. During the meetings, Owen asked the undercover officer to kill B.H. and agreed to pay the undercover officer $700 for the murder of B.H. Owen used her phone to access Facebook photos of B.H. in order to identify B.H. to the undercover officer. She also provided written identification and location information for B.H., and made a payment of $200 to the undercover officer on June 11, 2015.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison D. Dunning. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the FBI.

Updated March 2, 2017

Violent Crime