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Sonora Woman Suspected Of Murder-For-Hire, Plotting To Kill Husband Makes First Court Appearance

SONORA (CBS13) — An FBI tip regarding murder for hire led to a woman's arrest in Tuolumne County, authorities said on Sunday.

Heidi Butler
Heidi Butler (credit: Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office)

Heidi Butler, 38, of Sonora, was arrested Friday evening at her home and faces charges for solicitation to commit murder, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office.

The District Attorney's Office says Jeremie Butler was the intended target of this murder-for-hire plot. Neighbors say Mr. Butler is Heidi Butler's husband.

Neighbors say Heidi Butler is a wife and mother, and a successful ICU lead nurse at a hospital in Sonora.

"Not in a million years would I have ever thought something like this would happen here," said neighbor Julia Torigiani.

In Butler's small, tight-knit neighborhood set up against the hazy Tuolumne County Hills, neighbors tell CBS13 they were shocked to hear this mother of four is accused of a murder for hire.

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"She always seemed kind of standoffish and kind of aloof," said Torigiani."It's really kind of scary to think that someone who lives right next to you is capable of doing something like that."

Torigiani feels empathy for Butler's husband. "Her children are very sweet and her husband is very nice," she said.

The sheriff's office says a tip and an active investigation led to a search warrant of Butler's home where she was taken into custody. The arraignment was tabled until Tuesday, and Butler must provide the court with financial records before she is assigned a public defender.

The hearing set for 1:30 p.m. in Superior County Court.

The District Attorney's Office said it is not looking to bring anyone else into custody at this time.

Editor's note: In a previous version CBS13 reported that the District Attorney's Office was looking to bring Jeremie Butler into custody. The District Attorney's Office has since clarified that Jeremie Butler was the intended target of this murder-for-hire plot.

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