Independence County Woman Pleads Guilty in Murder-for-Hire Scheme

SEPTEMBER 27, 2005 - Posted at 8:13 a.m. CDT

BATESVILLE, AR - An Independence County woman has entered a negotiated plea instead of going to trial on charges she hired a man to kill her husband.

Mary Karena "Katy" Wood, 58, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit capital murder.  She had been charged with capital murder in the ambush-style slaying of her husband on July 13, 2000.

Circuit Judge John Dan Kemp accepted the plea and sentenced her to 30 years in prison, the maximum term allowed.

Thomas Wood, 52, was leaving his Cord home for work when he was shot three times as he stepped onto his back porch.

In December 2004, James Chadwick Renfro of Vilonia pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.  He agreed to testify against Wood.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)