Couple accused in murder-for-hire plot captured in Columbia County

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

A wife faces charges of plotting her husband's death to get insurance money.

Investigators say she and her boyfriend tried to hire a hit man.

The hit man they tried to hire instead teamed up with police...and led them straight to truck driver Shonda Harbert and boyfriend John Corson.

Columbia County Sheriff's officers arrested the two Wednesday morning.

A Columbia County Pilot station was just another stop on the couple's ten-month run from the police. But this time, a team of officers was waiting.

"Apparently it didn't take long," says Capt. Steve Morris. "They had good info as to their whereabouts, their state of employment, that sort of thing."

Officers say Shonda Harbert took out a half million dollar insurance policy on her husband without his knowledge, and then she and boyfriend John Corson tried to hire a hit man to take out the husband so they could get the money.

Then the couple allegedly took the married couple's 16-year-old daughter and hit the road in Shonda's 18-wheeler.

Hundreds of trucks come through truck stops every day, and truckers say they never know who is in the truck parked next to them.

"There's a few bad apples, you know," says truck driver Terry Wilkinson. He spends most of his time on the road, and has come across his share of dangerous people at truck stops.

"You meet them every now and then," he says. "I just try not to deal with them."

That's how Wilkinson stays out of harm's way on the open road.

The man hired to do the dirty work took a different approach. He told police about the couple's plan, but continued to pose as the hit man. His tips led the couple's truck right to the law.

"It all came together, no one was harmed, and now they're in custody," Capt. Morris said.

There are lots of dangers out there. But this time, facing the danger saved a life.

The Fugitive Task Force that tracked the pair down is made up of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and U.S. Marshals. The Columbia County Sheriff's Office made the arrest, and the suspects will soon be extradited back to their home in South Carolina.

The two face charges of murder for hire, solicitation, and unlawful conduct toward a child.

Family services in Columbia County will likely return the 16-year-old girl to her father.


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