Ind. woman accused of hiring boyfriend to kill husband

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by Sherrell Hubbard

WHAS11.com

Posted on May 29, 2014 at 6:21 PM

Updated Thursday, May 29 at 7:18 PM

CORYDON, Ind. (WHAS11) – A Southern Indiana woman was arraigned in Harrison County Superior Court on Thursday.  She is accused of hiring her boyfriend to kill her husband.

Boyfriend and girlfriend Matthew Pavlisin and Melissa Barger are both inmates in the Harrison County Jail, charged with hatching a plan to kill Barger’s husband.

Court documents say the plan was for Pavlisin to burglarize a home, steal a gun, and use it as the murder weapon. Barger would then take her three children on a Memorial Day picnic, leaving her husband at home to be murdered.  Prosecutors say Melissa Barger promised her boyfriend a share of a house and some insurance money in exchange for killing her husband.

Prosecutor Otto Schalk says Pavlisin never had a chance to carry out the full plan, he was arrested for the burglary.” After he was arrested, he then reached out to police and he agreed to wear a wire,” says Schalk.  Police used that wiretap to record three conversations, where Barger allegedly admitted to the crime.  Court papers say Pavlisin repeatedly asked Barger, "you want him dead and gone?” and she said "it's the only way I’m going to get away from him."

The Barger's have three children together. The prosecutor says Pavilson told police he wanted to cooperate because he could not bear to see his girlfriend's kids fatherless.   The couple has been married for 22 years – her in-laws are in disbelief over the allegations. 

Joyce Luckett is the victim’s aunt.  Luckett says “She goes a little crazy every now and then but nobody ever thought she'd ever do this. This is just uncalled for.”

Lawyer Larry Wilder says his client, the husband, did not know about the boyfriend or the plot to kill him until he went to visit his wife in jail.  Wilder says “He came to the courthouse when she was arrested and was told that she was being charged with conspiracy to commit murder and he asked 'who?' and he was shocked when the officer said well, she was trying to get someone to kill you."  "The only nephew I've got and she was going to kill him," Luckett said.  “It’s just unreal."

In court, Barger screamed "I want my husband” and "I love you."  The judge advised her of her right to remain silent.  Wilder says "She may love her husband but she loved him to death because that's what she wanted to do, have him killed."  Wilder says that Barger’s husband filed for divorce early Thursday morning before his wife’s hearing.

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