Calera woman pleads guilty in murder-for-hire plot against ex-husband

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, December 6, 2011


A Shelby County woman pleaded guilty Dec. 5 in federal court to conspiring with her mother to hire someone to kill her ex-husband in 2009, the U.S. attorney’s office announced in a press release.

Kimberly Dawn McGuffie, 44, of Calera, entered her plea before U.S. District Judge Abdul Kallon to a charge of conspiracy to commit murder-for-hire. As part of the plea agreement, the government will drop the second count of the March indictment, which charges McGuffie with the underlying murder-for-hire offense.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 5.

McGuffie was indicted along with her mother, Barbara Louise Patterson, 63, of Columbiana on the conspiracy charge.

McGuffie admitted in her plea that she had conspired with her mother to hire someone to kill McGuffie’s ex-husband with a poison cocktail of prescription medication supplied, in part, by Patterson, according to the press release.

Patterson’s trial is pending, but no date is set.

“Sadly, this was a child custody dispute that should have remained in court, rather than being taken into hand by an angry ex-wife,” U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance wrote in the release. “Because the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the FBI came together to work on information from an informant, this murder plot was not carried out.”

According to the indictment, McGuffie and Patterson attempted to carry out their conspiracy as follows:

In mid-July 2009, McGuffie first called an acquaintance and asked for his assistance in murdering her former spouse. She later met the man in person to discuss her plan. On July 23, 2009, Patterson called her own doctor’s office, requested a prescription for Lexapro, a medication used to treat depression, and picked up 14 sample tablets of the drug, which she gave to her daughter.

In August, 2009, McGuffie and Patterson drove to a location near Columbiana to meet and again try to enlist the assistance of the man they wanted to help them kill the ex-husband.

On Sept. 8, 2009, that man, who became a confidential informant to police, told McGuffie he had found someone to do the job and would introduce her to him that night. McGuffie drove that day to the town of Shelby and bought methadone pills, which she added to her deadly cocktail.

Later that evening, McGuffie drove to a shopping center parking lot in Calera where she met the confidential informant and an undercover officer posing as the hit man. She gave the “hit man” a small bag containing Lexapro, methadone and Xanax, plus a key and a hand-drawn map to her ex-husband’s home. She also wrote the man a $1,000 check to cement her agreement to pay him for the murder.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, the Alabama Bureau of Investigation and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney William G. Simpson is prosecuting the case.