Wife Faces Murder-For-Hire Charge — (Denver Post)

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Denver Post

Bob Brown; Special to The Denver Post 

11 December 1993

OND, Ind. – Details of a bizarre murder-for-hire plot unfolded yesterday as a Colorado woman was accused of hiring an Indiana man to kill or maim her estranged husband’s mistress.

The plan called for the murder while the accused stayed at a distant ski resort as an alibi, federal prosecutors claimed.

In a two-hour U.S. District Court detention hearing in Hammond, Ind., across the state line from Chicago, Deborah Jean Cowan, 29, who moved from Longmont to Loveland recently, pleaded innocent to charges she orchestrated an elaborate plot to kill Patty Brady, a Colorado woman she suspected of having an affair with her husband, Joe.

Cowan, who her attorney said was taking the anti-depression drug Prozac, hired a man for $1,500 to kill or possibly disfigure Brady in retaliation for seeing her husband, said an FBI agent.

Arrested before the plot was carried out, Cowan is charged with conspiracy to commit murder for hire, solicitation to commit a violent crime and use of interstate phone lines to further the alleged scheme.

Cowan made contact with a man from Indiana in late October through a Hobart, Ind., woman she’d spoken with on the telephone through her job. She allegedly discussed hiring him to kill Brady, the FBI said.

FBI agent William Warner said Cowan allegedly told the would-be hit man that Brady, in her late 30s or early 40s, had an early morning newspaper route at the University of Colorado in Boulder and suggested using a stun gun to knock her out, then drive her car to a cliff and roll it off.

The agent said Cowan also spoke with the Indiana man about throwing caustic lye in Brady’s face or stabbing her in a fake robbery. Instead, the man went to the FBI on Nov. 3 and told them of the scheme.

Cowan was arrested at her home on Nov. 12 and was ordered to appear in Indiana yesterday.

She told investigators she was just “shooting her mouth off.”

She was released until her trial Feb. 7.