Cathy Bennett Pleads Guilty for Role in Murder-for-Hire Plot - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Cathy Bennett Pleads Guilty for Role in Murder-for-Hire Plot

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Cathy Bennett, a former Franklin County school nurse, remained calm as she pleaded guilty to conspiracy to solicit murder.

Bennett admitted in Franklin County Circuit Court to helping her former co-worker and friend at Sontag Elementary School, Angela Nolen, hire a hit man to kill Nolen's ex-husband Paul Strickler back in February.

"There could have been some financial issues involving Mrs. Nolan and her ex-husband, but as far as the investigation goes, we didn't find any indications of anything financial between Mrs. Bennett and Mrs. Nolan," said Franklin County commonwealth's attorney Timothy Allen.

Since Bennett pleaded guilty, she won't have a trial. Allen read some of the evidence that could have been used against her in court, including Bennett approaching another co-worker, Sharon Williams, to help "take care of Strickler." Williams contacted officials instead.

"Mrs. Williams did the right thing," Allen said. "Had she not done that then we would've been investigating a murder doing what we're doing now."

Bennett could face up to 10 years behind bars, but because of how uncommon this case is, Allen says it's hard to predict what the sentencing will be.

"Its so unusual and we don't have cases like this, so we don't have a record to go back on to make an estimate of what the judge will do," Allen said.

The judge was adamant on waiting until October for a sentencing to get a full report on Bennett's background before making a decision.