A Drew County woman who is alleged to have attempted to hire someone to murder a former employee and her former son-in-law will not be prosecuted, according to 10th Judicial District Prosecutor Thomas Deen.
Deen said he found that 70-year-old Mary Maloney had voluntarily renounced her criminal purpose and interrupted the planning and commission of the murders she had solicited.
In a February 12 letter from Deen to Lt. Tim Nichols, a criminal investigator with the Drew County Sheriff’s Office, the agency that arrested Maloney, Deen said Maloney is entitled to the defense of renunciation which is allowed in Arkansas and other jurisdictions.
Reviewing in his letter the details of the alleged offense, Deen said Kendrick Chavis reported to police that Maloney approached him on January 29 saying she wanted some people to “disappear.”
According to Chavis, she said she meant that she wanted them dead.
Later that day, Maloney is alleged to have given Chavis a piece of paper bearing the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the men she wanted killed.
However, Maloney apparently changed her mind.
Chavis said the following day, when Maloney and he were to discuss details of the plan, Maloney told him that she would not be able to live with herself if she had the men killed. She told him that the conversation about the murders “never happened.”
In her interview with police, Maloney confirmed the essentials of that account of her dealings with Chavis, according to Deen’s letter.
Deen said Arkansas, like other jurisdictions, provides for the defense of renunciation to the offense of solicitation and other inchoate offenses when a defendant “prevented the commission of the offense solicited, under circumstances manifesting a voluntary and complete renunciation of his or her criminal purpose.”
Further citing the Arkansas statute, Deen said one of the reasons to allow a renunciation defense is to encourage wrong-doers to “desist from pressing forward with their criminal designs, thereby diminishing the risk that the substantive crime will be committed.”
“I find in this matter Maloney is legally entitled to the benefit of the renunciation defense,” Deen said. “She voluntarily renounced her criminal purpose and interrupted the planning or commission of the murders she had solicited. For these reasons, the State declines prosecution in this case.”