Police: Merrill woman offered money, sex in exchange for murder - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Police: Merrill woman offered money, sex in exchange for murder

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -- A Merrill woman is charged with plotting to kill a man with whom she was in a “bad relationship,” according to Marathon County Court records.

Jessica A. Strom, 33, appeared in court Monday afternoon. She's charged with conspiracy to commit first degree intentional homicide. A judge set a $250,000 cash bond.

According to court documents, last week Strom tried to arrange the murder through a former criminal justice classmate. That person reportedly refused, and then contacted police.

Court documents say the former classmate then pretended to change his mind about the murder and took part in a sting operation at a downtown Wausau restaurant in which Strom laid out detailed plans to kill her “on again/off again boyfriend,” even writing details about the intended victim on a napkin and the back of a receipt, according to court documents.

According to court documents, Strom wanted her friend to use a gun in the killing. "You just open the door, no time to respond, that's it," she told him, according to the documents.

Strom offered her former classmate $1,000 and sex in exchange for the murder, according to court documents.

Strom was arrested Thursday at her home, according to police. She "denied that she was serious" about the murder and "that she had intended to...call it off the following morning," according to court documents. Strom told police she hadn't called it off yet because she was too busy, court documents stated.

Prosecutors say this case is certainly out of the ordinary for our community.

"Fortunately for Wausau and Marathon County, you hear about them and read about them happening somewhere else other than here," said Marathon County District Attorney Ken Heimerman. "Is it unusual for this area? I would say, yes."

If convicted, Strom could face up to 60 years in prison, according to Heimerman. She has a court hearing scheduled for next week.

Newsline 9 was unable to reach Strom's defense attorney.

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