February 22, 2012
Police say an animal rights activist in Ohio has been
charged with soliciting a hitman to fatally shoot or slit the throat of a
Meredith Lowell, 27, appeared Tuesday in U.S. District
Court in Cleveland where a judge ordered her held by the U.S. Marshals
Service pending a hearing next week, court records show. One of her
defense attorneys, Walter Lucas, declined to comment.
Authorities say the FBI was notified in November of a
Facebook page Lowell had made under the alias Anne Lowery offering $830
to $850 for the fatal hit and saying the ideal candidate would live in
northeast Ohio, according to an FBI affidavit.
The affidavit says an FBI employee posing as a possible
hitman later began emailing Lowell. She then offered him $730 in
jewelry or cash for the killing of a victim of at least 12 years but
"preferably 14 years old or older" outside a library near a playground
in her hometown.
"You need to bring a gun that has a silencer on it and
that can be easily concealed in your pants pocket or coat. ... If you
do not want to risk the possibility of getting caught with a gun before
the job, bring a sharp knife that is (at least) 4 inches long, it should
be sharp enough to stab someone and/or slit their throat to kill them. I
want the person to be dead in less than 2 minutes," says an email
reprinted in the affidavit.
She told the undercover agent in the emails that she
wanted to be on site when the slaying took place so she could distribute
"papers" afterward, the affidavit says. Her hope was to be arrested so
she could call attention to her beliefs and to get out of the home she
shared with her parents and brothers who eat meat and eggs. They also
use fur, leather and wool, investigators said.
Reprinted emails also say Lowell wrote that she sees
nothing wrong with "liberating" animals from fur factory farms and
laboratories since "soldiers liberated people from Nazi camps in World
Lowell faces a hearing next Tuesday to determine
whether she will be given the opportunity to post bail or be detained
without bond pending resolution of the case.
CBS affiliate WOIO reports the FBI announced Lowell will be charged with one count of solicitation to commit murder.