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Carico not guilty of murder-for-hire

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By Landmark News Service

 

UPDATED 11/14/11:

 

By LARRY CHAMBERS
Staff

INDEPENDENCE  — An Independence woman charged with solicitation of murder was found not guilty in Grayson County Circuit Court on Nov. 10.
Candi Freeman Carico, 37, was arrested May 27 by Grayson County Sheriff's Department investigators and charged with criminal solicitation to commit murder.
The jury of seven women and five men deliberated less than two hours before returning the not guilty verdict.
The two-day trial began Nov. 9 with evidence against Carico presented by Commonwealth's Attorney Doug Vaught.
Carico said during her testimony that she never thought about having her husband killed.
Thomas Pugh of Independence testified that Carico called and asked him to kill her estranged husband, Tim Carico of Independence. She also said that she would split the $100,000 life insurance policy with Pugh.
Vaught said in his closing statement that Pugh said he knew Candi Carico through his mother. Pugh said he didn't want to get involved and had no plans to do anything about her alleged request.
Johnny Peebles Jr., who lives on Carsonville Road, testified that Pugh told him about Carico's alleged request.
Jonathon Venzie of Independence, Carico's lawyer, tried to discredit Pugh and alleged that he had a reputation of not telling the truth.
Peebles said that he had known Pugh for 14 years and said that Pugh didn't always tell the truth.
Another witness, George Johnson, testified that he had known Pugh for about 15 years. Venzie asked him about Pugh and his truthfulness. He said Pugh's reputation for telling the truth was "not good."
Todd Perkins, the lead investigator for the Grayson County Sheriff's Department, said an anonymous letter was received by the Independence Police Department that stated that Carico was trying to find someone to kill her husband.
Perkins said he located Pugh through his investigation. He testified that Pugh wrote out a statement that Carico had called him on his cell phone and asked him to kill her husband. Pugh, according to Perkins, said that he didn't know Carico very well.
Two prisoners from the New River Valley Regional Jail testified that a woman had talked with Carico while she was in jail about someone who "could help her finish the job" of killing her husband.
They testified that Carico asked her mother to send her a photo of Tim Carico. The prisoners said the photo arrived, and the couple's son was also shown in the photo.
Carico testified that several of the prisoners had asked what Tim looked like, so she obtained a photo to show them.
Venzie said in his closing statements that whoever wrote the letter wanted to get Carico  "in a lot of trouble."