Woman arrested for murder-for-hire plot in Manatee County

Posted at 6:18 PM, Sep 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-09 09:25:47-04

Manatee County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested Rachael Natalie Leahy, 35, of Manatee County after receiving information that she wanted her ex-husband dead.

The investigation began on August 22 when the Sheriff’s Office received information that Leahy wanted her ex-husband, David Joseph Leahy Jr., 59, of Sarasota, dead.

In the subsequent undercover operation, Rachael hired a Sheriff’s detective to kill David. The agreed cost of the murder-for-hire was $5,000.

Rachael met the hit man twice near the 1200 block of 60th Ave W in Bradenton, according to deputies.They said the first time, which was a week ago, she paid $1,000. The second meeting was Thursday and she paid $1,500. She paid cash both times. 

During their first meeting, Rachael told the undercover detective that her ex kept her children from her and that she wanted custody of the children. She said that she thought about having him kidnapped and taken to another country and made into a sex slave, but admitted that wasn't a realistic expectation and that she would leave it up to the undercover detective, according to the affidavit.

Leahy told the detective that she would pay him with the money from her ex's life insurance policy because it is written in their divorce agreement that she is the beneficiary of the policy. 

When Leahy was arrested on Thursday, September 8, deputies said that at first she did not know what was going on.

Leahy is being charged with Solicitation of Premeditated Murder.