Arkansas grandmother accused of seeking to kill ex-son-in-law in murder-for-hire plot

Jeri Dianna Tarter didn't want ex to have custody of granddaughter: FBI

A 69-year-old Arkansas woman has been arrested in an alleged murder-for-hire plot charging her with trying to hire an FBI undercover agent posing as a hitman to kill her ex-son-in-law.

The FBI announced the arrest of Jeri Dianna Tarter, of Jacksonville, on Wednesday. She was charged with use of interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire, according to reports.

Tarter was accused of soliciting the FBI undercover agent Rob Bell to kill her daughter's former husband to keep him from having custody of her granddaughter, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports. The child is now 3.

Mugshot for Jeri Dianna Tarter, 69, following 2018 arrest in Arizona.

Mugshot for Jeri Dianna Tarter, 69, following 2018 arrest in Arizona. (Navajo County Sheriff's Office)

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The criminal complaint says Bell became involved after Tarter contacted a former security guard she knew from 15 years ago and told him that the custody battle had become so fierce it led to the arrest of her and her daughter on accusations of kidnapping the girl, the paper reported. The security guard called police who called the FBI.

According to the criminal complaint at a meeting at a Walmart in Jacksonville Oct 20, Bell asked Tarter if she wanted him to scare the ex, or what she wanted him to do, the paper reported.

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"Tarter implied that she wanted her former son-in-law to suffer an accident," the complaint states, according to the paper.

It goes on to says that Tarter "clearly implied that ... Bell should kill" the former son-in-law, and make it look like an accident, the paper reported.

Tarter appeared before a judge Monday in Little Rock Federal Court.

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News articles show that Tarter and her daughter were arrested on charges of kidnapping the child in 2018 in Arizona.