BUFFALO, N.Y. -- An Amherst woman pleaded guilty to plotting to kill her ex husband Monday, according to the office of James Kennedy, Jr., the new U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York.
Debra Arno, 57, pleaded guilty to solicitation of interstate murder for hire, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $125,000 fine.
Lauren Frye, 57, of Buffalo also pleaded guilty Monday to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm, a charge with a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Frye was the person Arno solicited to carry out the murder.
The Kenmore Police Department received a tip about the plot May 26, 2015. The next day, Kenmore Police with the help of the East Aurora Police Department discovered the victims included Arno's ex-husband and his current wife. Police let both know about the potential murder-for-hire plan.
The following day, a search warrant was carried out a Frye's home. Items seized included letters from Arno to Frye, photos of the victims, a diagram of the victim's home and a schedule of their daily activities. Two cell phones and three shotguns were also seized.
In one letter Arno wrote to Frye, she said, “I am enclosing $6,000. I will give you an additional $14,000 upon completion. A total of $20,000. A man, his description and address enclosed, is to be eliminated or hurt. He lives with 2 other people. Both expendable (if there is an accident).”
March 8, 2017 at 1 p.m. is the date Arno is scheduled to hear her sentencing. Frye will be sentenced the following day at 12:30 p.m.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force assisted in the investigation.