A former model has been found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder after she attempted to pay a hitman to kill her husband’s ex-wife.
Tara Lambert, 33, of Columbus, Ohio, is facing up to 11 years in prison after she paid an undercover deputy a down payment of $125 to kill her husband’s ex-wife Kellie Cooke. She believed the deputy was an assassin and had paid him to throw Cooke in a wood chipper.
Lambert was found guilty of conspiracy to murder in court on Jan. 27.
At the time of the conspiracy, Cooke and Lambert were in an ongoing custody battle over the two daughters of Lambert’s husband, reported New York Daily News.
After jurors deliberated for just 45 minutes, Lambert was found guilty of conspiracy to murder Cooke, but was acquitted of conspiring to murder Cooke’s husband, who could have been killed if he was home when the hitman came to kill his wife.
The former model was arrested on July 28, 2015, after she gave an undercover police officer a photo of Cooke and $125 as a down payment for her murder. According to court documents, Lambert also gave police Cooke’s address and a description of her car.
Lambert said in court that she was joking about having the hitman throw Cooke’s body in a wood chipper.
The Cooke family was relieved by Lambert’s guilty verdict. According to The Columbus Dispatch, Cooke's husband said after the verdict that Lambert “tried to take away everything that matters to me.”
“This has opened our eyes that there is evil in this world, true evil, and for us, nothing will ever be the same,” he said.
Lambert’s exchange with the undercover deputy was secretly videotaped and was shown to the jury in court.
Lambert is being held without bail until she is sentenced on Feb. 17.