Charges dropped against Gastonia mom in murder-for-hire case

Charges dropped against Gastonia mom in murder-for-hire case
Philbeck (Gaston County Jail)
Philbeck (Gaston County Jail)

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Charges have been dropped against a Gastonia woman who was accused of trying to pay someone to kill her husband.

District Attorney Locke Bell said Monday that charges of solicitation of murder were dropped against Jessica Philbeck, who was being held on a $1 million bond.

Investigators said in July that 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 said 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 in July. "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."

Bell said Monday that Philbeck did talk to the man about having her husband killed, but she did not have "anywhere close" to the amount of money or possessions she offered the man.

Therefore, Bell said, they could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was intentionally trying to hire the man to kill her husband. Belle added that Philbeck was also under the influence of drugs when she tried to hire the man.

Philbeck's husband, Thomas Pasour, told WBTV in July that he didn'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," Pasour said.

Pasour says he and his wife have a child together. He wondered if that was 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."

In mid-July, Philbeck's bond was set at $1 million after a judge said her release would "pose a danger to her alleged victim," and "considering the nature and circumstances of the offenses, her prior criminal record."

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