January 16, 2005 in City

Arrest in contract-killing case

By The Spokesman-Review

A Spokane woman was arrested Saturday after finding out that the hit man she allegedly hired to murder her ex-boyfriend was an undercover police officer, Spokane Police said.

Jackie R. Burton, 36, was booked into the Spokane County Jail on a charge of soliciting another to commit aggravated first-degree murder.

Police recently received a tip that Burton was attempting to hire someone to murder her former boyfriend, a professional in his 50s who works in the same field as Burton.

Police would not release further details about the intended victim, except that he would be on vacation next week.

On Wednesday, an undercover officer contacted Burton and pretended to be willing to kill for cash, said Deputy Chief Al Odenthal at a Saturday afternoon press conference.

“On our initial contact with this woman, it became readily apparent that she intended to carry it out,” Odenthal said.

Burton paid $500 to the officer as a down payment and asked the officer to make her ex-boyfriend suffer before killing him, Odenthal said.

The undercover agent met with Burton on Saturday morning and showed her pictures in which the intended victim appears to be dead, Cottam said. She was arrested after she gave the officer a portion of the remaining fee. Odenthal would not say the total amount she allegedly was planning to pay.

Burton declined to be interviewed in jail Saturday night.

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