Woman charged in murder plot

April 10, 1994|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Sun Staff Writer

Three days after she joined in a birthday celebration for her boyfriend's 11-year-old son, Kathryn E. McLane allegedly paid an undercover police officer $2,500 to murder the child's mother, according to court records.

"I had to sit here and look at her, and I knew the whole time that she wanted to kill me," said Dorinda Hughes, 42, who police say was the intended victim of the plot. "I offered her a drink. I told her we had cake, pizza. I had to act completely normal."

Ms. McLane, 30, was arrested by Anne Arundel police Thursday night at her home in the 8300 block of Baltimore-Annapolis Blvd. in Pasadena.

She was charged with soliciting to commit murder and was released Friday from the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on $50,000 bond. She did not return messages left at her home yesterday.

"I've never had any ill words with her," said Ms. Hughes, who lives with her son in the 200 block Oak Landing Court in Severna Park. "I was completely shocked by this."

Charging documents filed in Anne Arundel District Court presented this scenario:

Homicide investigators were tipped off to the plot on March 21 by an "anonymous male caller" who told detectives that a woman named Kathy wanted someone to kill a Severna Park woman. The caller gave detectives Kathy's phone number, and Detective William Lee Corbett called the number March 22.

He talked to a woman there who identified herself as Kathy, the court papers said. Two days later, Detective Corbett again called the woman, who he had identified as Ms. McLane. During that conversation, Ms. McLane arranged to meet Detective Corbett in the parking lot of B J's Warehouse on Ritchie Highway in Pasadena at 5 p.m. that same day.

In that meeting, Ms. McLane told Detective Corbett about the ex-wife of her boyfriend whom she wanted "out of the way." He asked her specifically if she wanted him to scare Ms. Hughes or to kill her. Ms. McLane replied, "I don't want her around anymore," the court papers state.

Ms. McLane gave the detective Ms. Hughes' address and telephone number and told him about an alarm system in the house. Ms. McLane agreed to pay Detective Corbett $5,000 in two installments of $2,500, the court papers state.

Also in that meeting, she told him that Ms. Hughes had received death threats from another person, the charging documents said.

Ms. Hughes told police she had received death threats from a lawyer she turned in to authorities on suspicion of embezzling about $1 million.

"So she [the suspect] had the perfect cover," Ms. Hughes speculated during an interview Friday night. "She was going to let him take the fall for it."

After Detective Corbett met with Ms. McLane on March 22, police immediately called Ms. Hughes and told her they needed to come to her home to talk to her.

"When they first told me about this, I didn't trust them," Ms. Hughes said. "After the first threats, you really start to wonder and question things."

Ms. Hughes said she called the Police Department to verify that they were detectives.

For the next five days, Ms. Hughes said she had to act as though nothing was amiss -- even acting as the perfect hostess at her son's party on March 28.

On March 31, Ms. McLane again met with Detective Corbett in the B J's parking lot and made the first payment, charging documents said.

Ms. Hughes said the arrest of Ms. McLane has shaken her. She said she had given Ms. McLane a winter coat and used the woman as a baby sitter for her young son.

"I've never heard of anything like this," Ms. Hughes said. "This is not my world."

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