Woman charged in murder-for-hire plot

Saturday, January 13, 2007
Valorie A. Spurlock

COBDEN, Ill. -- A murder-for-hire plot was squelched last month when a Cobden woman attempted to contract with an undercover police officer to kill her ex-husband, authorities said.

A Union County grand jury indicted Valorie A. Spurlock on Wednesday on a charge of solicitation of murder for hire, which carries a mandatory 20- to 40-year prison term upon conviction.

Spurlock is being held in Tri-County Detention Center in Ullin, Ill., on a $250,000 bond.

Union County State's Attorney Allen W. James said the contract for murder came about through Illinois State Police agents' routine work tracking down drugs and drug information in the county.

On Dec. 18, an agent encountered Spurlock and entered into a transaction involving the sale of pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make methamphetamine, James said. From there, Spurlock reportedly offered to make a deal with the agent to kill her ex-husband, Mark Spurlock.

David L. Bennett

Spurlock allegedly offered the agent a four-wheel vehicle valued at $5,000 to carry out her orders, to be followed by a cash payment of an unspecified amount afterward, James said.

The grand jury also indicted Spurlock on charges of possession of methamphetamine precursors, child endangerment and participation in methamphetamine production.

James said Spurlock allegedly participated in the manufacture of meth by selling pseudoephedrine pills and exposed her 18-month-old daughter and 9-year-old nephew to that environment by allowing them to live in a house where those chemicals were stored.

"We're not indicating she was cooking methamphetamine in the house," he said. "She was selling items to make it."

The children were placed in protective custody with the Illinois Department of Child and Family Services, he said.

Spurlock's brother, David L. Bennett, was indicted Wednesday on charges of methamphetamine-related child endangerment and possession of a controlled substance containing morphine.

Bennett and his son were living with Spurlock, although there is no indication Bennett was involved with Spurlock's alleged murder plans, James said.

Spurlock and Bennett are scheduled to appear for arraignment Feb. 6.

carel@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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