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Charges Dropped Against Woman Who Claimed To Hire A Hitman

According to the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, Deanna Pruitt had contacted one of their police informants, inquiring about hiring the person to kill an acquaintance of hers. Pruitt allegedly offered to pay the hitman for the killing.

Based on reports of the murder-for-hire plot, Pruitt discovered that the hitman she'd tried to engage had ties to law enforcement himself. She decided to address the issue with the police herself and allegedly confessed to attempting to hire the man to kill another. Initially, officers charged her with solicitation to commit murder, but those charges have since been dropped.

According to reports of the now-dismissed criminal charges, Pruitt had put a $1,000 price tag on an acquaintance's life with whom she'd had a long-standing dispute.

What Is Solicitation?

Solicitation may be more commonly understood in the realm of sex crimes as it's often used to describe charges against someone who is offering sexual favors in exchange for money. However, solicitation is much broader than that and includes offering, promising or actually giving money, services, or anything of value, or to forgive or promise to forgive a debt or obligation to commit a felony or murder.

Asking another to commit a crime in exchange for money does not wash the asker's hands of the crime. You can be punished for soliciting another to commit a crime by a prison sentence, fine or both, depending on the crime solicited.

Solicitation to commit murder is a serious felony in North Carolina, punishable by up to life in prison.

Source: WCNC, "Charges dropped in Shelby murder-for-hire plot," July 17, 2013

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