By Sally Voth -- firstname.lastname@example.org
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.