Murder-for-hire plot foiled in Chester County, D.A. says

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (WPVI) -- A man and a woman from State College, Pa. are charged with trying to hire a hit man to kill an associate.

Authorities say the plot was hatched inside the Chester County Prison in Pocopson, Pa.

Accused heroin dealer Christopher Pickard, 29, who was arrested August 3rd in Charlestown Twp., Chester County on drug charges, believed another man was "ratting" on him.

So, prosecutors say, Pickard and his girlfriend, 27-year-old Latrice Harrington, arranged to hire a hit man.

They started brain storming inside the Chester County prison during Harrington's visits.

On wiretaps they allegedly came up with the idea of getting a professional to kill the man they feared was ratting Pickard out. The D.A. provided them with a hitman, straight out of central casting, an undercover officer.

Hogan said, "The defendant had his girlfriend, Latrice Harrington, set this whole thing up. She ran communications back and forth between the hitman and the defendant. And then Latrice Harrington actually supplied the hitman with two guns and money.

Late last week, Pickard and Harrington got confirmation their plot had been carried out successfully.

Hogan said, "The hitman reported back to the defendant and to Latrice Harrington that he had killed the victim. And the response was, that's great, thank you."

Pickard and Harrington remain jailed at the county prison.

If convicted in this case, both will likely spend decades in a state penitentiary.

"The defendant was looking for a hit man to kill this victim," said Hogan. "And we supplied an undercover police officer."

Hogan said Pickard told the undercover officer, "I'll give you over $2,000. I'll give you an ounce of heroin. You just need to kill this guy."

The pair allegedly supplied the officer with guns, money, photographs of the victim and the victim's address.

Both suspects are now behind bars, charged with conspiracy and solicitation to commit murder, weapons charges, and related offenses.

They face long prison sentences if convicted.
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