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Animal Rights Lawyer Jennifer Emmi Jailed in 'Murder For Hire' Plot

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - Jennifer Emmi, a well known Colorado animal rights attorney and media personality, has been jailed in Jefferson County, charged with trying to hire a hit man to murder her husband's girlfriend. According to an affidavit in the case, obtained by CBS4, Emmi asked a man who worked at her Evergreen ranch to "take care" of her husband's girlfriend.

Jennifer Emmi
Jennifer Emmi (credit: Jefferson County)

Emmi and her estranged husband had been separated and were going through divorce proceedings. She said he had taken up with an au pair who had taken care of the couple's children.

Emmi founded The Animal Law Center, established a nonprofit ranch in Evergreen to accentuate the bond between humans and animals, and has been regularly interviewed by local media outlets about various animal cases.

She also hosted a regular show on Facebook focusing on animals.

A 33 page affidavit in the case, obtained by CBS4, suggests Emmi's life in recent years had turned dark, with numerous arrests related to her marriage and domestic issues.

The ranch hand, who turned informant, went to Jefferson County authorities late last year and told them he had recorded a phone call in which Emmi asked "If he knew anyone who could help get rid of her (the girlfriend). Nobody will miss her."

The man said he and Emmi discussed how much the "hit" would cost, as much as $100,000.

"Jennifer responded that the money would not be a problem," The ranch hand told investigators. He said he believed the animal rights attorney was serious.

When investigators accessed Emmi's computer, they say she had searched for "how to get rid of the other woman for good."

Colin Bresee, Emmi's attorney, told CBS4 late Monday afternoon, "This is a very serious allegation against Jennifer Emmi. It looked like the model family and all of a sudden her husband trades her in for a younger girl. She was irate."

Bresee noted Emmi later told the government informant, "We are not going to do anything."

Bresee said he was awaiting more evidence in the case before offering further comment.

Emmi's husband responded to CBS4's request for comment saying,

"It's a very sensitive topic, and I ask for people to respect the privacy of the family and the children."

Emmi is being held in the Jefferson County jail on a $3 million cash-only bond. Court records show she is due in court for a preliminary hearing Feb. 26.

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