Woman jailed in murder-for-hire plot - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Woman jailed in murder-for-hire plot

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A woman is in jail accused of a failed murder-for-hire plot against her husband.

Reena Patel, 34, is in the Travis County Jail, under a $1 million bond.

Austin police say on September 4, she asked several people at an apartment complex off Rutland Drive to "take care of her husband permanently."

Reena Patel told police she had lost her way when she pulled her SUV into the parking lot of Villas De La Luz Apartments in the 1600 block of Rutland Drive.

"She said it more than once...like, I just need somebody to take care of him," said Ebony Pettiford, a resident at the complex.

As it turns out, police say 34-year-old Reena Patel was asking for a lot more than directions.

Pettiford said, "She asked me if I knew anybody that would kill her husband."

Ebony, 20, was standing outside this apartment with a group of 10 to 15 teenagers when she says they were approached by the wife and mother of two.

"She was like, anybody, I'll take anybody. You can follow me to my house. I'll let you inside my house. It just needs to get done today," Ebony added.

Ebony says Patel seemed desperate to have it done before 3:30 p.m. when her husband got out of work and her two kids, out of school.

The arrest report shows Patel said the teens could take anything they wanted from inside her Steiner Ranch home.

Ebony said, "The whole time she's just telling us what she'd give us, the layout of her house, the way her husband would come in the house, the way we could catch him...she wanted him dead, but she wanted it to look like a robbery."

According to the arrest affidavit, one teen said he would shoot her husband in the head because he's only 16 and would get a "slap on the wrist."

Ebony added, "I was like, stuff like that, it comes with a price and she was like, I'm willing to pay anything."

"A search of their home and of her vehicle resulted in the discovery of $4,000. This is significant because when she was speaking to the witnesses at the scene she mentioned she would pay them $4,000 to commit this murder," said Sgt. Scott Ehlert with the Austin Police Department's Homicide Unit.

After speaking to Patel's husband, an area doctor, investigators learned she'd lied about her knowledge of his life insurance policy.

Ebony added, "She was like, $2 million, yea, that's a big amount enough to kill somebody, to want to kill somebody, not just that he's abusive."

Ebony says Reena claimed her husband had been hitting her, but both Patels tell police they've never had a history of violence. Dr. Patel told investigators he bought a $2 million life insurance policy last year and that his wife was fully aware of it.

Reena Patel is charged with criminal solicitation of capital murder. She's facing between 5 and 99 years in prison or life.

Police say the couple has been married for four years and have two young children together.

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