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Woman sentenced for trying to hire hitman

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

A West Virginia woman who tried to hire a hitman to kill a Strasburg resident has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.

Brenda Lee Swisher, 49, of Augusta, was sentenced Wednesday by Chief Judge John Preston Bailey in U.S. District Court in Martinsburg, W.Va., according to online court records.

The sentence is the maximum called for in a plea agreement that Swisher entered into in January. She pleaded guilty then to a charge of solicitation to commit murder. A second count, racketeering -- murder -- was dismissed per the agreement on Wednesday, according to court records.

Once out of prison, Swisher will be on supervised release for three years, according to court records.

The hitman hired by Swisher turned out to be an undercover West Virginia State trooper, according to a criminal complaint filed by West Virginia State Police Cpl. J.M. Mills, who is part of the Potomac Highlands Drug and Violent Crime Task Force.

The complaint states Swisher gave him a $500 down payment -- with the promise of another $3,000 once the deed was done -- on Nov. 1 to murder Strasburg resident Cheryl Kinnie, the wife of Swisher's former boyfriend, Donald Kinnie.

The racketeering charge stemmed from Swisher hiring a killer to cross state lines to commit the crime, according to a news release last fall from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of West Virginia.

Swisher had faced a fine of up to $125,000, but was instead ordered to pay a $100 fee, according to court records.


Wow! $100 fine and 5 years in jail for attempting to have someone murdered. Those plea deals sure are amazing, aren't they. Way to go justice system.

5 Years? come on, she'll be out in 18 months based on "good behavior." On the other hand, it'll be good for the economy. She'll be engaged in "job creation" when she tries to hire someone who isn't a State Trouper to finish the job.

That's about par for the course considering Jody Bradley got 9 years for shooting a 16yo kid in the face at point-blank range.


Bringing Jody into this is pretty ridiculous. He is SERVING HIS SENTENCE...for protecting his home & his daughter. No one belongs hiding in your attic//....and one should be able to protect their home. Most of us would. NO ONE but God, Jody & Sarah know the truth of that day, and Brandon had a trespass notice against him due to many complaints by Jody of catching him there bringing her drugs. As sad as it is, the truth is his own mom told him not to go back there...had even taken the car keys from him but gave them back. It is a crime to hide in someone's home when u r not allowed there...in my opinion. Jody never shot him on purpose., and unless u know more than what u read in here u should keep your comments to yourself

Yes 5 years is not enough time at all, but bc of certain statues thats how it played out. Very sad and let me correct the title of this article SHE DIDNT TRY SHE DID HIRE A HITMAN, just thank goodness it was an undercover who got word of it. This victim is my mother and this whole story is sad. I sure hope that nothing occurs when she gets out, obvis. she wasnt capable the 1st time and lets pray no 2nd time. This is where people need to be thankful that the law enforcement was invovled, they do save lives even though people tend to not think so! Sometimes they do and they do serve to protect!

What can I say, it is what it is. There is little justice in our system. 5 years for hiring a hit man, 9 for shooting a kid in the face and 25 for possessing marijuana, an indigenous plant put here by God.

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