Second evaluation ordered for woman charged in murder-for-hire case

Published: Friday, December 21, 2018 @ 4:18 PM

Middletown woman has compentcy hearing

The state ordered a second psychological evaluation of a Middletown woman charged with plotting to kill an acquaintance after her first evaluation concluded she was incompetent to stand trial.

Jody Back, 49, of the 800 block of Fifth Avenue, was arrested Sept. 28, following a traffic stop at Towne Boulevard and Ohio 122 and was charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, a first-degree felony.

She had a competency hearing Friday afternoon before Judge Greg Stephens in Butler County Common Pleas Court. Stephens said the state ordered a second psychological evaluation to be performed by forensic psychologist Bobbie Hopes.

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MORE: Middletown woman charged in murder for hire to get competency evaluation

Back will return to court on Jan. 22, Stephens said. She is being held on $250,000 bond.

The Butler County Prosecutor’s Office will file the papers to order a second opinion, Stephens said. He expects those papers to be filed by Wednesday because of next week’s holiday.

Back’s sister, June Craig, was in the courtroom, and she provided some papers from the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center to Back’s attorneys, she said. She said the papers show her sister, an Army veteran, has a history of mental illness.

Middletown police say Back wanted the alleged intended target out of the way so she could leave the country with her daughter.

Back met with a confidential informant on Sept. 26, 27 and 28 to negotiate a monetary deal to have another woman killed, according to court records obtained by the Journal-News. Back provided an address for the woman and a time frame to have her killed.

The confidential informant contacted police on Sept. 26 telling them that Back was trying to hire to kill the woman, Middletown police detective Dave Creech testified earlier.

The detective said the informant indicated the agreed to amount was $5,000, but Back said she could not afford the price. That is when there was an agreement to turn over a house she owns on Yankee Road to the informant.

While Back was under surveillance by the police department, she went into a local credit union and signed over the house to the informant, Creech said. She was arrested shortly after.

Staff writer Lauren Pack contributed to this report.