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Press Release

Columbus Woman Charged with Using Internet to Hire Someone to Commit Murder

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

MADISON, WIS. – Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that a Columbus, Wisconsin, woman has been arrested pursuant to a federal criminal complaint that charges her with using the Internet to hire someone to commit murder.  Kelly Harper, 37, was arrested on Friday, February 5, 2021.

The complaint charges that from October 19 through December 10, 2020, Harper used a murder-for-hire site on the dark web to hire someone to kill an individual.  The complaint alleges that Harper provided a description of the intended victim, details about the victim’s vehicle, where the victim worked, and the victim’s cell phone number. The complaint further alleges that payment was made in bitcoin. 

Harper is currently in custody at the Dane County Jail.  A time for her initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wisconsin has not been set. 

If convicted, Harper faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

The charge against Harper is the result of an investigation by the Sun Prairie Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the FBI’s Money Laundering, Forfeiture and Bank Fraud Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Chadwick Elgersma is handling the prosecution. 

You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated February 8, 2021

Violent Crime