TAMPA, Fla. – Tampa accountant DeAnna Marie Stinson, 50, has pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire plot that was an attempt to kill her ex’s spouse, according to United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg.
Court documents shows the plot started on June 24, 2021 when Stinson created an account on a dark web website called “The Website” and submitted a request for a hitman to kill her ex’s spouse, calling “a quick hit in southern Florida.”
Stinson provided other detailed information within the order; including the victim’s name, address, and a photo.
Throughout the next month, Stinson requested four additional orders and sent more than $12,000 in Bitcoin to execute the hit.
During this time, Stinson also repeatedly messaged administrators of the site and purported hitmen requesting that the “job” be completed as soon as possible. She even offered a “bonus” for anyone who could complete the hit by a specific date.
After not receiving a status update from site administrators, Stinson sent in another request to administrators on July 31, 2021, -- asking them to “reassign the job to someone who has a history of getting jobs done” because she said she needed the job done “ASAP.”
Law enforcement became aware of Stinson’s criminal activity after receiving information from an undisclosed source, according to the FBI. An agent then obtained records from Stinson’s virtual currency exchange account. The account confirmed that Stinson used Bitcoin to pay “The Website.”
An undercover agent acting as a hitman for the site contacted Stinson and recorded their conversation. On the call, Stinson confirmed that she wanted the victim to be killed and agreed to send the undercover agent additional money via Bitcoin to prevent the transaction from being traced.
On September 13, 2021, Stinson sent $350 in Bitcoin to the undercover agent so that the agent could purchase a revolver that was to be used to commit the murder.
Authorities arrested her 10 days later, according to Tampa news station WFLA. The station also reported Stinson was the director of finance for Bible-Based Fellowship Church in Hillsborough County at the time of her arrest.
A sentencing date has not been set. Stinson faces up to 10 years in federal prison.