According to The Wisconsin State Journal, Kelly Harper, 38, said in a Wisconsin courtroom when she pleaded guilty in a murder-for-hire plot last June,
“It was my divine right as a mother to protect my children.”
Harper stated in court that it was her “divine right as a mother” to protect her children from KV, whom she accused of abusing her children mentally and physically for years. However, according to Harper’s divorce file, which the newspaper obtained before a judge sealed it, her claims of abuse against her ex-husband were either unsubstantiated or prosecutors declined to file charges.
Harper was sentenced to six years in federal prison on Thursday as part of her plea agreement. Prosecutors claimed she devised a murder-for-hire plot against her ex-husband, dubbed “KV” or “Known Victim” in court documents and a Department of Justice press release.
According to the federal complaint, this came to the attention of law enforcement when police in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, received a suspicious person call at a local residence on Jan. 12
When they arrived, they discovered KV and a person identified as Journalist #1 on a videoconference call with Journalists #2 and #3.
According to the Journal, the trio of reporters worked for the British Broadcasting Corporation. They told officers they were looking into a murder-for-hire website on the dark web when they discovered someone wanted to kill KV.
The reporters obtained communications dated December 3 to December 10, 2020, in which an unknown person (later identified as Harper) told a purported murder-for-hire site administrator about killing “the target.”
“The target needs to be killed, he is a white 5 foot 5 male, dark brown short hair, blue eyes, weighs 165 pounds,” she wrote, according to the complaint.
According to authorities, Harper provided information about his vehicle, workplace, cell phone number, and pictures of himself and his vehicle. The site administrator requested bitcoin payment proof. Harper provided a screenshot of a $5,633.87 bitcoin wallet.
Furthermore, according to authorities, she previously made a bitcoin transfer to a second murder-for-hire dark website on October 19, 2020.
Ex-Husband Speaks Out
Harper admitted that she was in a “dark place” when she committed this crime during her sentencing on Thursday. She expressed her regrets to her ex-husband.
“I’m ashamed,” she said, according to the Journal. “I hope he can forgive me.”
“You’re a monster,” he said in response
Explaining that he, his significant other, and his children were suffering from harassment and gossip and that he was afraid he would be killed. They had to relocate.
Because of the murder-for-hire contract, he has been labeled a security risk at work, he claimed. At school, his children were subjected to teasing, bullying, and taunting. He claimed that even teachers attempted to elicit gossip from the children. And his relationship with his significant other was on the verge of failing, he claimed.
“You, Kelly Harper, have been putting me through hell for six years now,” he said.
The outlet did not name him for fear of further harassment. United States District Judge William Conley inquired whether he believed the six-year sentence was sufficient. The ex stated that he preferred more but expressed confidence in the US Attorney’s office and the judge’s decision. Harper faces three years of supervised release, according to court records.