Updated: Woman's arrest 'may have saved a life'

Updated: Woman's arrest 'may have saved a life'

TUSCOLA — A Teutopolis woman is in the Douglas County Jail accused of allegedly trying to hire someone to kill her ex-boyfriend.

A release from Capt. Tad Williams of the Illinois State Police said Jennifer D. Inman, 30, was arrested Wednesday evening in Tuscola, after she allegedly paid someone $5,000 to kill Louis J. Thursh, 50, of Champaign.

The Douglas County sheriff's office received information about the hire on Tuesday and contacted state police investigators for their help.

State police then began a covert investigation that led to Inman's arrest Wednesday evening.

According to a brief probable cause affidavit filed with the circuit court in Tuscola by Illinois State Police Sgt. Michael Campbell, Inman met with a man in Tuscola on Wednesday to hire that person to kill Thursh.

"Inman supplied (the would-be killer) with approximately $5,000 cash along with a backpack containing items to commit and conceal the murder including two gel soles to glue on his shoes, glue, blue latex style gloves, a black skull cap, a black Gerber knife, mace, a digital camera, a T-Mobile cellphone, handwritten maps of the interior of the house, pictures of Thursh, and computer maps of his house and neighborhood," the affidavit said.

The affidavit also said that in a subsequent interview with investigators, Inman admitted that she paid the man $5,000 and provided the supplies in the backpack for the person to kill Thursh.

Inman was arrested in the parking lot of a business in Tuscola about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. She's being held in lieu of $500,000 bond and is expected to be formally charged next week.

Court records in Champaign County show that Inman and Thursh have a child in common, for whom he was ordered in January to pay temporary child support.

The records in that case say Thursh did not supply the court, as ordered in May, with proof of his income or documents showing what interest he has in The Fitness Center in Champaign and Tuscola where he is billed on its website as a tae kwon do master. He was also ordered to produce documents showing what interest he has in White Tiger Taekwondo Academy in Champaign. That case is ongoing.

Just last month, a criminal case filed in Champaign County Circuit Court against Thursh was dismissed.

Thursh had been charged in December 2012 with predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for contact that allegedly occurred with a girl under the age of 13 last fall at a home in Champaign.

However, Assistant Champaign County State's Attorney Stephanie Weber dismissed the charge on July 23 because she felt the case against Thursh could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

"As the case progressed and more information came to light, I came to the conclusion that the case could not be proven. The evidence that we would present would not have supported the charge," she said.

Williams declined comment on whether Thursh's dismissed criminal case had anything to do with Inman's motives to want him dead.

Solicitation of murder for hire is a Class X felony carrying penalties ranging from 20 to 40 years upon conviction, according to Williams.

He hailed the cooperative efforts of the Douglas County sheriff's office and Illinois State Police detectives in investigating Inman.

"It is apparent this arrest may have saved a life," he said.

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