Prosecutor: Gastonia wife offered $20K, automobile in murder-for - | WBTV Charlotte

Prosecutor: Gastonia wife offered $20K, automobile in murder-for-hire plot

Philbeck (Gaston County Jail) Philbeck (Gaston County Jail)

A Gaston County prosecutor says Jessica Philbeck solicited murder and offered to pay to have her husband killed.

Investigators say a man contacted Gastonia Police and told them that Philbeck "communicated to that person that she wished to have her husband killed and would pay to have him do it."

Prosecutors say police then asked the person to go back and speak to Philbeck.

"He was wired. He had audio and video and on tape," the District Attorney's Office said. "It was recorded when she made contact again with the third party and having said that she wanted to have her husband killed, offered cash - $20,000 and an automobile - to have that accomplished."

During Philbeck's court appearance Tuesday afternoon, the prosecutor told the judge that $1 million secured bond is appropriate because of the nature of the charge, solicitation of murder, and because they believe she's a danger to her estranged husband and is a flight risk.

Philbeck's husband, Thomas Pasour, told WBTV he doesn't know why his wife wanted him dead.

"I don't want to believe anybody wants to kill me. I don't think anybody deserves to die," he said. 

Pasour says he and his wife have a child together. He's wondering if that's the reason.

"That's the only thing I can think of," he said. "I don't see why she would want me out of the child's life."

Philbeck's attorney says he hasn't spoken with his client yet.

"The one thing I want everyone to remember is the accused always has the presumption of innocence, and at this point and time it’s very early," Attorney Michael Neece said. "I’m going to speak to my client, start working on the case, start defending her and seeing what evidence the state has."

The judge said Philbeck's release "will pose a danger to her allege victim" and "considering the nature and circumstances of the offenses, her prior criminal record" the court decided to leave Philbeck's bond at $1M set by the magistrate.

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