PELAHATCHIE, Mississippi (WLBT) – A Pelahatchie woman will be behind bars at least until Monday after being arrested for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill someone.
According to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office released Wednesday, Jessica Leeann Sledge allegedly used the Internet to try to hire an assassin to murder someone in Mississippi.
Sledge, dressed in a dark orange jumpsuit, handcuffs and shackles, appeared before Federal Magistrate Keith Ball on Wednesday, where the judge ruled she must remain behind bars until her preliminary hearing.
Until then, she will remain at the Madison County Jail.
“Given the nature of the charge, this is not an accusation, I think it would be appropriate to leave [the defendant] until we have a detention hearing and a preliminary hearing, ”he said.
Both hearings are scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Monday at Jackson’s downtown U.S. District Court.
Attorney John Colette is representing Sledge and has asked Ball if she can be released.
“The affidavit indicates that they began investigating this matter in September,” he said. “They know she doesn’t have a criminal history.
Colette then highlighted the conditions at the Madison County Jail, citing the state of food and the lack of visitation.
Subsequently, Colette was seen talking to her client before she was returned to custody. He asked officers if Sledge would be able to speak to his mother, and he was told no.
Sledge’s mother was sitting outside the gallery. She declined to comment.
The 39-year-old faces one count of using interstate commercial facilities in the commission of murder for account.
If convicted, Sledge faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $ 250,000, Ball said during Sledge’s initial appearance.
“We will be looking at the issue and the validity of the charges,” Colette said outside the courtroom.
According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office, the incident occurred between September and November 2021.
Unbeknownst to Sledge, the “hitman” she hired was a special agent for the FBI. The target victim was not injured.
The case is being pursued by Deputy Criminal Chief Dave Fulcher.
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