Judge OKs felony charges over Facebook

A US judge has upheld felony charges against a woman accused of using Facebook to try to find someone to kill her baby’s father and against a teenager accused of offering to do the job for $1000.

A defence lawyer argued that 20-year-old London Eley of Philadelphia was only sounding off when she posted the online message after an argument with her baby’s father. Police say 18-year-old Timothy Bynum of suburban Darby accepted the offer and asked for details about the target.

“I will pay somebody a stack to kill my baby father,” Ms Eley wrote in a post this spring, according to a police affidavit.

“Say no more … what he look like … where he be at … need that stack 1st,” Mr Bynum wrote back, police say.

Ms Eley exchanged messages with Mr Bynum for about an hour but never met him or took any other steps to carry out the plan, according to her lawyer, Gerald Stein.

A city judge today approved a murder solicitation charge and a weapons charge – with the computer being considered the weapon – against Ms Eley and approved murder conspiracy and weapons charges against Mr Bynum.

Police say they found several weapons in Mr Bynum’s home, although Mr Stein said he believes one was lawfully licensed to a parent and another was a BB gun.

The Philadelphia Daily News first reported on the judge’s rulings, which Mr Stein confirmed.

Both defendants remained in custody today, with bail set at $35,000 for Ms Eley and $75,000 for Mr Bynum. They are due back in court for arraignment on September 6.

The hit wasn’t carried out, and the baby’s father wasn’t harmed. His family apparently learned of the posts and contacted police, who arrested Ms Eley and Mr Bynum in June.

Mr Stein said Ms Eley simply had been venting online “over an argument that she had with the boyfriend”.

Mr Bynum’s lawyer, Lopez Thompson, and Assistant District Attorney Jack O’Neil didn’t immediately return messages from The Associated Press seeking comment today.

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