Pelahatchie woman arrested after allegedly trying to hire a hit man over the internet

PELAHATCHIE, Miss. (WLBT) – A Pelahatchie woman will be behind bars at least until Monday after she was arrested for allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill someone.

According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office on Wednesday, Jessica Leeann Sledge allegedly used the Internet in an attempt to hire a hit man to kill someone in Mississippi.

Dressed in a dark orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles, Sledge appeared before federal magistrate Keith Ball on Wednesday, where the judge ordered her to remain behind bars until her preliminary hearing.

Until then, she will remain in the Madison County Jail.

“Given the nature of the charges, this is not a charge that I believe would be appropriate to [the defendant] out until we have a detention hearing and a preliminary hearing,” he said.

Both hearings are scheduled for Monday at 2:30 p.m. in the U.S. District Court in downtown Jackson.

Attorney John Colette represents Sledge and asked Ball if she could be released.

“The affidavit said they started investigating this in September,” he said. “They know she has no criminal history.”

Colette further pointed to the conditions at the Madison County jail, citing the condition of the food and the lack of visitors.

After that, Colette was seen talking to his client before she was taken back into custody. He asked officers if Sledge could talk to her mother, and was told no.

Sledge’s mother sat in an outdoor chair in the gallery. She declined to comment.

The 39-year-old is facing a felony of using interstate trading facilities in committing contract murder.

If convicted, Sledge faces 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, Ball said in Sledge’s first appearance.

“We’re going to investigate and investigate the validity of the charges,” Colette said outside the courtroom.

The incident took place between September and November 2021, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Unbeknownst to Sledge, the “hit man” she hired was an FBI special agent. The intended victim was unharmed.

The case is being pursued by Deputy Criminal Head Dave Fulcher.

Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.


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