Murder Plot Suspect Ordered To Stop Seeing Kids, Ex-Husband

Shirley Mugley

The target of a West Fork woman’s alleged murder plot filed an order of protection against the suspect this week in Washington County Circuit Court.

Shirley Mugley, 40, was arrested last Friday, accused of hatching a scheme to kill her ex-husband with a pipe bomb with help from Andrew Cox, 20.

The ex-husband, Michael Mugley, filed an order of protection Monday. The order of protection was processed on Thursday and accepted by the county, according to Washington County Circuit Clerk documents. In the order, Circuit Judge Beth Storey Bryan signs that she finds Michael Mugley may be in “immediate and present danger of domestic abuse” if or when Shirley Mugley is released from jail.

A hearing concerning the order is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Bryan also signed an order this week ceasing Shirley Mugley’s visitation with her children pending further orders from Circuit Court. The couple was granted a divorce in Washington County in May, according to court records. They have three children under the age of 18 together, according to records.

Shirley Mugley remains in the Washington County Detention Center on $50,000 bond. She faces charges of felony conspiracy, criminal use of a prohibited weapon and criminal possession of explosives. Her arraignment is set for Aug. 19, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said Cox, who faces a felony charge of criminal use of a prohibited weapon, told police he went with Shirley Mugley to buy materials to make the pipe bomb. Cox and Mugley made the bomb in the basement of Mugley’s house on the 14000 block of Highway 265 South, according to a preliminary arrest report.

Cox, 20, had a previous romantic relationship with Mugley, the report said. He was released from the Washington County Detention Center on $5,000 bond late Friday afternoon, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Police said they obtained video of Shirley Mugley buying a cell phone that matches the phone that was attached to the pipe bomb, the report said. The report said police recorded a phone call between Cox and Mugley during which Mugley discussed the pipe bomb and the conspiracy to kill her husband.

The pipe bomb was found in April in the Illinois River in rural Washington County, according to the sheriff’s office. Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said Cox threw the pipe bomb in the river after he “chickened out.”

Helder said Mugley and her husband had a history of domestic disturbances and Mugley was displeased with the sheriff department’s handling of the situation.

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