Woman Stands Trial for Murder-for-Hire Plot

Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail is accused of arranging a murder-for-hire plot

By Kendra Lyn
|  Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012  |  Updated 12:23 PM CDT
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Prosecutors lay out their case Wednesday against a Carrollton woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill her estranged husband.

Kendra Lyn, NBC 5 News

Prosecutors lay out their case Wednesday against a Carrollton woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill her estranged husband.

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Woman Stands Trial for Murder-for-Hire Plot

Prosecutors lay out their case Wednesday against a Carrollton woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill her estranged husband.
More Photos and Videos

Prosecutors lay out their case Wednesday against a Carrollton woman accused in a murder-for-hire plot to kill her estranged husband.

The shooter did succeed, killing Craig Nail and injuring his girlfriend.  The victim’s ex, Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail is accused of arranging it.

Prosecutors argue the couple’s divorce and bitter custody battle turned deadly.  The state claims Guthrie-Nail wanted her husband dead and didn’t hide her feelings.  They insist while she didn’t pull the trigger, prosecutors said she did pull all of the strings.

Craig Nail and his girlfriend, Therisa Johnson were inside of his Frisco home on Dec. 26, 2007, when the gunman walked in and started shooting nearly a dozen rounds.

Nail ran for his gun in the master bedroom closet, but he didn’t make it. He was shot in the head and killed.

Johnson took a bullet to the forehead, arm and ear, but managed to escape to a neighbor’s house to get help.

Prosecutors believe Guthrie-Nail gave a gun to a middle man to pass off to convicted shooter Mark Bell. 

A friend testified that Guthrie-Nail told her she did not pay anyone for the shooting.  Other friends have said Guthrie-Nail talked openly about wanting her ex dead.  Police say she took action by soliciting Bell for the hit.

The defense argues the shooter, Bell, acted alone.

Wednesday morning, shooter Mark Bell took the stand.  In the past, he has said Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail laid out the plot and planned to pay him to kill her ex. 

Now that Bell is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole, the confessed killer’s memory got a little fuzzy testifying during her trial.  Bell has nothing to lose and on the stand told the judge that medication for depression has made him forget what happened in December 2007. 

Judge Mark Rusch warned Bell to be truthful or the judge can “ruin his life in prison.”  The trial is moving slowly as prosecutors try to refresh Bell’s memory.  The jury has had to leave the courtroom a few times, so the state can play taped confessions of Bell talking with investigators.  Prosecutors are urging Bell to provide consistent statements while under oath.

Guthrie-Nail faces charges for capital murder and solicitation for capital murder.  She could be sentenced to up to life in prison if convicted. 

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