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Brooksville woman gets 4 years after guilty plea in plot to kill husband

Jacqucia Francois, with her attorney, Robert Whittel, could have been sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty.

RON THOMPSON | Times

Jacqucia Francois, with her attorney, Robert Whittel, could have been sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty.

BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville woman who hired four hit men to kill her husband received a four-year prison sentence Thursday.

Jacqucia Francois, 46, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and left her punishment to Circuit Judge Jack Springstead.

She faced a maximum 30 years in prison, but the judge sentenced her to the minimum guideline sentence.

Springstead made Francois recite her involvement in the crime to determine whether she knew anything about the plot or the use of firearms, which she denied.

Authorities said that Francois wanted the men to kill her husband, Fenol Francois, before he left for work on the morning of Nov. 18, 2008. Authorities said she wanted to be "free of him" and to have sole ownership of their property and assets.

Authorities said the men, plus another named Kedner Noel, met with Francois on Nov. 16 and 17, to lay out the plan and to figure out how to get inside her home on Nightwalker Road.

On the morning of Nov. 18, Esnel Jean Baptiste, Frans Guerrier and another man known only as "Mitch" broke into the home only to find that Fenol Francois had left early for work, authorities said.

They then ransacked the home, trying to find money and drugs that had been promised to them by Jacqucia Francois and Noel, according to the arrest report. When the men couldn't find the promised goods, they went into the bedroom of the couple's 13-year-old son and ordered him out of bed at gunpoint, authorities said.

The men tied up the boy and waited at the home until Jacqucia Francois arrived about 7:30 a.m. and called 911 after she found one of the men waiting for her in the garage, authorities said.

The cases against the men are still pending. The judge rejected Noel's motion to suppress evidence in his case at a hearing after Francois' plea deal.

Outback in Spring Hill sued by Texas woman

A Houston woman filed a negligence lawsuit against an Outback Steakhouse in Spring Hill after a fall killed her unborn baby.

Diana Alabadi alleged in court documents filed July 16 that she slipped and fell after the night of March 12 when she stepped on a wet spot. She blamed the restaurant for creating "a dangerous condition" that resulted in the loss of her pregnancy.

She is seeking damages in excess of $15,000 from the restaurant, which is owned by Tampa-based Kangaroo Holdings LLC.

John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6114.

Brooksville woman gets 4 years after guilty plea in plot to kill husband 07/23/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 23, 2009 8:16pm]

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