Sisters Charged in Murder for Hire Plot Against Middle Sister’s Son-in-Law

Three Alabama sisters were arrested last week in a murder-for hire plot to kill the husband of one of their daughters.

Mitzy Gaye Smith, 54, Judy Owen, 61, and Sandra Grimes, 57, face federal charges in the plot, which saw them hiring a convicted felon to kill Grimes’ son-in-law, who she accused of abusing her daughter and their children.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Owen paid a vet bill in February for Rebecca Murphy, who had previously lived next door to Smith, and called it a down payment for the murder. Grimes and Owen told Murphy they “wanted the murder to appear as an overdose” but also said they didn’t care if she “had to slit (the victim’s) throat, as long as she got the job done.”

They told her they had paid a man $10,000 to do it, “but he ran off with the money.”

The sisters took Murphy to Louisiana, where the victim lived, telling her on the way why they wanted him dead. They detailed the victim’s abuse of Grimes’ daughter and her children, saying he had assaulted them all, drugged the daughter, and forced her to have sex with other men.

Murder for Hire Affidavit by kc wildmoon on Scribd

The sisters gave Murphy money to buy heroin to kill the victim, and she made several trips to Louisiana but never managed to conduct the murder. The affidavit details text messages between the sisters and Murphy, most over a “second phone” using coded names.

At one point, Smith gave Murphy a box of Christmas decorations with gun in the bottom. At that point, the affidavit said, Murphy “knew the sisters were serious about the scheme.” The sisters continued to pressure Murphy to finish the job, including a text message from Grimes in March telling her to “stab him in the heart at the door or shoot his a** in the heart or face.”

Ultimately, Murphy turned the sisters in.

An attorney for Smith dismissed Murphy’s allegations, telling WPMI “probably she’s working some case off.”

“I don’t know,” Dom Soto said. “I’m just guessing. This is usually the scenario.”

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