Murder-For-Hire Suspect Wanted By Police

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A Washington County judge this week issued a warrant for the arrest of a woman arrested in May in an alleged murder-for-hire plot to kill her ex-husband.

Teri Lea Baber was arrested May 29 by Benton County deputies on suspicion of solicitation of murder. She was released the next day from the Benton County Jail on $10,000 bond, according to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

During a search of her Fayetteville home at the time, deputies said they found methamphetamine paraphernalia. The case prompted a Washington County judge to issue a separate warrant Wednesday for Baber’s arrest, on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court documents.

Tabitha Cleveland, the woman Baber allegedly tried to hire to kill her ex-husband, came forward to authorities after the offer, said Deputy Keshia Guyll of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

Cleveland recorded a phone call with Baber on May 13, in which Baber offers Cleveland money, land, a guitar and a Winnebago camper to kill her ex-husband, according to a probable cause report from Benton County Circuit Court. Baber told Cleveland she owed her ex-husband $45,000 to keep her land and home, the report states.

Baber suggests Cleveland meet the ex-husband at Ozark Lanes in Fayetteville, since he takes part in a bowling league there. She said Cleveland could slip LSD into his coffee and flirt with him, the report states. Cleveland could then get him alone and shoot him with a gun, or convince him to shoot himself, the report states Baber suggested.

Baber wanted Cleveland to write a suicide note in the man’s handwriting leaving everything to Baber, according to the report.