Grandmother accused of hiring man to kill son-in-law

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Independence, Mo. (WDAF) — A 61-year-old woman faces 10 years in prison if convicted of the charge against her: Intent to murder her son-in-law.

According to an affidavit, a person whom authorities are not identifying said Teresa Owen gave an envelope to a waitress at a restaurant she frequently visits, with the instructions to give it to the confidential source. The source said the envelope contained a note with a man’s first and last name, address, employer and car description.

The note also said “Overheard you say your friend will take a problem. All I can get done for this.” There was also $100 inside the envelope, the source said.

The confidential source says both the accused and the source are regulars at the restaurant. The source says he/she often makes calls at the restaurant to people who owe him/her money and threatens to “kick someone’s ass”, although the source says it has never happened.

The confidential source says he/she barely knows Teresa Owen, but knows the alleged intended victim, and contacted him, believing Teresa Owen wanted the source to do some towing work for the man.

Instead, the source learned the man is Teresa Owen’s son-in-law and that there is an ongoing custody dispute involving the son-in-law and Owen’s grandchildren.

Upon learning this, the source called police with concerns that Owen intended to hire him/her to harm the alleged victim.

With the police involved and aware, the unidentified source who received the envelope called Owen. The unidentified source told Owen that there was a guy who could take care of her ‘problem’ and that the guy would call her soon to find out what she wanted and how much it would cost. An undercover agent posed as ‘the guy’ and called Owen to meet. Police say that meeting occurred on June 10 at the library in Independence.

According to the affidavit, the undercover officer got into Owen’s vehicle and the two discussed harming or killing the intended victim. Owen reportedly asked the undercover officer how much it would cost for the intended victim to be gone, and he told her the price would be $700.

Owen allegedly agreed and said she wanted the intended victim “gone and never to return” because he was standing in between her seeing her grandchildren. She allegedly instructed the undercover officer to make it look like an accident. She also reportedly showed him a Facebook photo of the intended victim.

The next day, the two reportedly agreed to meet at the same library. The undercover officer says he asked her again if she really wanted to do this, and she said she did and reportedly gave him an additional $200. Police say all of the interactions were caught on tape, and Owens was later arrested.

FOX 4 attempted to speak with family members on Thursday, but they offered no comment.

In addition to prison time, Owen faces a $250,000 fine if convicted.

By Michelle Pekarsky, Shannon O’Brien