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Respected North Carolina teacher faces federal charges

The state of North Carolina has been rocked to its core after learning that a beloved and respected member of the community is facing federal charges for allegedly paying a hit man to kill three informants from a recent terrorism trial. The 46-year-old teacher at the center of the controversy is accused of playing a role in a plot to have three people beheaded. Her parents, colleagues and neighbors maintain one general consensus regarding the federal charges against the woman: "We don't believe it."

The teacher, who was arrested along with a 21-year-old alleged co-conspirator, was born in the United States. She and her conspirator are said to have paid $5000 to an FBI informant, who was posing as a hit man's assistant. The informant later presented the pair with a doctored photograph depicting their intended victim's severed head. The woman's 21-year-old co-conspirator is the younger brother of a 27-year-old man who was recently sentenced to 45 years in prison for plotting to attack a United States Marine base and several overseas locations.

Allegedly, the teacher and her partner separately met several times with the FBI informant, whom they believed served as an assistant to their hit man, and handed over cash toward their respective hits. According to an FBI agent, when the teacher was arrested, she waived her right to an attorney and told authorities that she knew of her partner's plan to kill the informants.

The teacher will face federal charges. Her attorney said that the evidence against the teacher shows, if anything, that she was merely a go-between for the 21-year-old. He said she is a victim in this case. A number of supporters have shown up at the Wilmington, North Carolina, court hearings to show their support for this respected teacher. As the trial proceeds, it will be important that this woman have a clear understanding of her rights so she can protect her freedom.

Source: Associated Press, "Father: Beheading plot suspect a dedicated teacher," Feb. 4, 2012

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