Woman pleads not guilty in murder plot - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Woman pleads not guilty in murder plot

WAUSAU (WAOW) - A Merrill woman accused of offering $1,000 and sex to hire a hit man to kill her boyfriend pleaded not guilty Thursday.

Jessica Strom, 33, entered the plea after a judge ruled prosecutors presented enough evidence to justify one felony count of conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide. No trial date was immediately said.

Prosecutors say Strom, a mother of two, met twice with a former technical college classmate and friend to hire him to kill a Wausau area attorney, described as her on-again, off-again boyfriend in a relationship that had gone bad.

The sought-after hit man contacted police who recorded the second meeting, just hours before Strom was arrested, the criminal complaint said.
Strom had advised the sought-after hit man to shoot the estranged boyfriend in the head at his office and drew a map of the plot on a napkin, the complaint said.

When Strom's friend sought to clarify that his fee would be $1,000, Strom answered, "'Mmhmmm, and some sex!,'' the complaint said.

Strom, dressed in a jail jump suit, showed little emotion during Thursday's hearing but repeatedly shook or nodded her head during a police detective's testimony.

Strom's attorney, John Runyon, told Newsline Nine that only one side of the story has been told so far. During questioning of the detective, Runyon suggested the sought-after hit man once had a sexual relationship with Strom.

Runyon told Newsline Nine he would seek to a change of venue for the trial.

Strom remains jailed on $250,000 cash bond. The judge refused to modify it Thursday.

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