Two women jailed in murder for hire plot

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

Two Ironton women were arrested Saturday and accused of trying to pay an undercover officer to kill a man they both knew.

Valerie Mantle, 37, and Barbara Mantle, 61, both of 722 Vernon St., were charged with conspiracy to commit murder and are lodged in the Lawrence County Jail.

“We had received some information there were people soliciting to have someone murdered,” Ironton Police Chief Jim Carey said. “We investigated it and they (the Mantles) were arrested at the Speedway at Eighth Street and Park Avenue at 5:22 p.m. Saturday.”

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Carey declined to say what relationship the two women had with Joseph A. Cox, the man they allegedly wanted to kill.

According to the affidavit filed in Ironton Municipal Court, the two women met with a “law enforcement officer who was acting in an undercover capacity and (they) hired the law enforcement officer to murder Joseph A. Cox.”

The court document also states that Valerie Mantle gave the uncover officer $250 as partial payment and Barbara Mantle promised she would hand over her prescription pain medication at the first of the month as additional payment. The conversation between the women and the undercover officer was recorded, as were some telephone calls.

They were arraigned Monday in Ironton Municipal Court. Judge O. Clark Collins set bond at $250,000 each.

Because they both said they could not afford to hire an attorney, Collins appointed Derick Fisher to represent Valerie Mantle and Warren Morford to represent Barbara Mantle.