Jailed woman accused of murder-for-hire plot related to her case

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on January 15, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 10:06 AM

PHOENIX – A jailed woman facing a murder charge is accused of conspiring to kill three adults and a child who are witnesses in the case against her.

Bernadette Beanes, 20, was already in custody in connection with a hostage incident that began with an Amber Alert last May. During that incident, police said Israel Celis held several people hostage in a west Phoenix home after abducting his 3-year-old son.

A 12-hour standoff with police ended when Celis shot himself.

Beanes is accused of helping Celis. She is facing first-degree murder, aggravated assault and kidnapping charges in connection with the crime.

In September, Phoenix police detectives became aware that Beanes was approaching fellow inmates and soliciting their assistance in killing four victims/witnesses related to the May incident.

According to court documents, Beanes also told a detention officer that she planned to have the witnesses in her case killed and asked the officer to help transport the bodies across the border to Mexico. She asked to use the officer's badge and uniform to facilitate crossing the border with the bodies.

Detectives began communication with Beanes. 

Sgt. Steve Martos said Beanes offered to pay an undercover detective $20,000 in exchange for the murder of the three adults and 9-year-old boy. She asked the detective to make the murders look like accidents, according to the court paperwork.

"The undercover officer was set to receive $5,000 per person that he would murder for her for a total of $20,000," Martos said.

Beanes now faces a new charge of conspiracy to commit murder.
 

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