The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 23, 2013

Woman convicted of trying to hire hitman appeals

Staff Writer

JEFFERSON — A Dorset woman convicted this past summer of trying to hire a hitman has appealed the verdict to a higher court, according to records.

Angel Brown of Dorset has filed her notice of appeal with the 11th District Court of Appeals in Warren, according to records with the Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court.

In August, a jury needed only two hours to convict Brown of two counts of conspiracy to commit murder stemming from her attempt in January 2012 to hire an acquaintance to kill the first wife of Brown’s late husband. Brown was unhappy with news she had to add some of the children from her late husband’s first marriage to a wrongful death lawsuit Brown was planning, according to testimony.

Brown paid an Ashtabula man she knew $4,000 to arrange or commit the murder, officials said. After spending the money, the man told Ashtabula County Sheriff William Johnson the story. After detectives secretly recorded Brown and the would-be killer talking in person and on the phone about the deed, she was arrested.

Brown claimed she and the man were just joking around in the conversations that were recorded. Comments between the two regarding some sort of payment that were captured on tape pertained to a botched marijuana transaction, she testified.

Judge Ronald Vettel sentenced Brown to nine years in prison last month, saying “this is a serious act and there should be a serious punishment.” The sentence exceeded the six years recommended by prosecutors.

Brown was represented at her trial by Albert Purola. She is expected to claim indigency before the appeals court, according to records found on the county court’s website.