Recently in Pennsylvania, two teenagers allegedly plotted a murder-for-hire scheme. Both face charges. Both face the consequences. The boyfriend-girlfriend pair planned to hire a murderer to do away with the girl's stepfather — while the targeted victim was supposedly safe in his home.
The morbidly enterprising teens had already recruited an individual to commit the crime. Fortunately, instead of going through with the plan, the would-be murderer contacted authorities instead.
Why would two young individuals decide to act in this way? How did they have the idea to murder in this manner? And - more chillingly - what effect will this have on your personal safety?
Murder-For-Hire: Instant Retaliation
Before the teens formed the conspiracy, the girl's stepfather had found them in bed together and reacted poorly afterward. Angered, the girl went to Snapchat and spread false accounts regarding sexual assault by her stepfather. Then, the girl's boyfriend also used his Snapchat connections to contact a male individual who could kill the intended victim.
The informant provided screenshots to the police detailing their conversation. In their back-and-forth, the boyfriend provided precise details of the would-be victim's schedule. After an undercover officer posed as a potential accomplice to collect damning evidence, the two teenagers admitted to the plot.
The planned hitman later revealed that he had thought the teen's request “was a joke.” By taking the request seriously, however, he may have saved the potential victim's life.
Other Conspiracies to Commit Crimes: How Often Does This Happen?
According to Cornell Law, U.S. jurisdictions look for three criteria to define a conspiracy:
- A verbal or written agreement by two or more to commit an illegal or violent act;
- Clear intent to achieve the goal of the agreement; and
- Clear action in the direction of that goal.
In the above story, the teen's Snapchat conversations, the recruitment of the assassin-turned-informant, and the boyfriend's actions with the undercover officer constituted these items.
Fortunately, it seems that these types of contract killings do not happen very often. While accounts of “unconsummated contract killings” fly across national headlines regularly, a 2003 Australian study showed that only 2% of committed murders are the result of a completed contract. Moreover, the Atlantic reports that most instigators - or persons who hire hitmen - get caught “because they don't know what they're doing.”
While your likelihood of becoming a hitman's target is low, there is a side effect of stories like these that you may find worrisome. These stories can spark widespread paranoia. Stories like these can cause people to make accusations against others more freely.
If you believe you are facing unjust accusations for a crime you did not commit, it is imperative you work with an experienced defense lawyer. Doing so may present your best chance of a favorable outcome. Call the Lento Law Firm right away at 888-535-3686. We can help guide you through the processes ahead and help you protect your rights.