Kalispell Woman Accused of ‘Murder for Hire’ in Federal Court

Judith Johanna Cossette, 66, pleaded not guilty on Friday in U.S. District Court in Missoula

By Justin Franz

A 66-year-old Kalispell woman faces federal charges after allegedly trying to hire someone to murder another person last month, though details of the allegations remain under seal.

Judith Johanna Cossette pleaded not guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to a single charge of murder for hire, denying that she “knowingly used and caused another to use a facility of interstate commerce with intent that a murder be committed.”

If convicted she could spend up to 10 years in prison, face three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000.

According to charging documents, Cossette allegedly tried to hire someone to kill another person sometime between March 13 and March 24. Prosecutors did not offer any additional details about whom Cossette was targeting, and the indictment remains under seal.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Cossette, who was assigned a federal defense attorney, will appear in court in Missoula again later this month.

She was released on numerous court-imposed restrictions, including that she not contact witnesses, informants of alleged victims in the case. She also must abstain from using alcohol.

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