South Georgia woman hires hit man - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia woman hires hit man

June 23, 2003

Valdosta - Thirty-two year old Teresa Martin is in the Lowndes County jail after her plan to kill a Florida woman backfired. "We were able to use a supervisor from our narcotics unit in the scheme, and he posed as a hit man," said Sgt. Steve Owens.

Valdosta police got involved after Martin was arrested for stealing a former roommate's jewelry. The theft victim told police Martin had been searching for a hit man to kill Paige Butler of Middleburg Florida.

"The arrested and another man had used Ms. Butler's credit card on nine different occasions," said Owens. "When Ms. Butler filed charges against her, Ms. Martin set out for a hit man."

Investigators contacted an Atlanta man who Martin had approached about the murder. "He came down and asked her if she still wanted to do it," said Owens. He said he still didn't want to, but had found someone who would and that's how we were put into contact with her."

Martin communicated with the undercover officer from a pay phone inside the Lowndes County Jail, where she was being held on theft charges. They arranged for her mother to make the down payment, and after the exchange, she was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder.

"I think it was solved quickly and thoroughly, and we're just surprised she still wanted to go through with the murder even after she was in jail on theft charges," said Owens.

Investigators won't comment on how Martin wanted Butler killed, or how she offered to pay the officer. They're saving that information for her trial.

posted at 3:45PM by ashley.harper@walb.com

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