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Oct 7, 2010 9:39 PM by Alison Haynes

71-year-old woman indicted in murder-for-hire case

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - A Caddo Parish grand jury on Thursday indicted a 71-year-old woman accused of paying someone $1,000 to kill her husband so she could sell his land.
Bobbie Loretta Luttrell faces one count of first-degree murder in the July 25 death of her husband, Ernest Luttrell, 73.
Authorities said Luttrell allegedly arranged the murder of her husband, who was shot to death July 25 at their home in Keithville.
Investigators said Luttrell wanted her husband killed so she could sell his property and give the money to a relative who had been promised a large sum of money.
Luttrell allegedly asked Tina VanMoerkerque, 44, a family friend who lived in a mobile home behind the Luttrells' home and did housekeeping and odd jobs for them, to find a killer, offering $1,000, police said.
VanMoerkerque and the alleged triggerman, Erick Crain, 26, were also indicted with first-degree murder on Thursday.
Prosecutors told KTBS-TV in Shreveport that they have not decided whether to seek the death penalty in the case. Luttrell's age would be a major factor in that decision, District Attorney Charles Scott said.
The defendants, who are being held without bond in the parish jail, are awaiting arraignment.
Luttrell's daughter said her mother suffered from moderate stages of Alzheimer's and could not have hatched a plot to kill her husband. She said Luttrell was taken advantage of by others.
Defense attorney Michael Vergis would not comment Thursday on the specifics of the case but said jail "has not been kind" to Luttrell. Vergis said his client's mental condition had deteriorated while in jail and she had fallen and hurt her hip.


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