Columbiana woman guilty in murder for hire plot

Published 2:22 pm Friday, March 16, 2012


COLUMBIANA – It took a federal jury less than an hour on Feb. 29 to find 64-year-old Barbara Louise Patterson, of Columbiana, guilty of conspiring to commit murder for hire.

“The jury came back in just under an hour,” said Peggy Sanford, spokesperson for the U.S Attorney’s Office.

Patterson and her daughter Kimberly McGuffie, of Calera, were indicted in September 2009. McGuffie pled guilty to conspiracy charges after she made a plea agreement implementing her mother in the duo’s plot to kill McGuffie’s ex-husband with a deadly concoction of pills.

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

On Sept. 8, 2009, the man the pair tried to hire informed police of the murder plot. An undercover officer then accompanied him to meet McGuffie in a Calera shopping center parking lot.

She gave the undercover officer a small bag containing Lexapro, methadone and Xanax, a hand-drawn map to her ex-husband’s home and a $1,000 check to solidify her agreement to pay him for the murder.

“Sadly, this was a child custody dispute that should have remained in court, rather than being taken into hand by an angry ex-wife,” said United States Attorney Joyce White Vance in a press 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,” she said.

Jefferson County District Court Judge Abdul Kallon scheduled Patterson’s sentencing for May 31 at 10 a.m. and McGuffie will be sentenced on March 5.