A federal grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, returned a one-count indictment that charged a pediatrician for her role in a murder-for-hire plot to kill her ex-husband in order to gain full custody of their two children.

According to court documents unsealed Thursday by the Justice Department, Dr. Stephanie Michelle Russell was charged on June 16 with the use of interstate commerce facilities to hire a hitman who had been working as an undercover FBI agent. Court documents revealed that Russell used phone calls and text messages to communicate with the FBI agent. Interstate commerce allows for federal jurisdiction.

Russell, 51, of Louisville, was arrested on May 19. She has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

In text messages, Russell allegedly asked and paid for her ex-husband to be killed while pretending to deliver Christmas flowers. Russell agreed to a payment of $4,000 and another $1,000 if the plan was carried out before Christmas, according to investigators.

Russell has been being investigated since 2019 after the FBI was tipped off by a nanny who said that Russell asked her if she knew “some really bad people.” It was not enough evidence to charge Russell at the time, according to the complaint.

She also reportedly asked nurses at her practice to help her kill her ex-husband, a confidential witness explained. Russell also reportedly had wanted the killing to look like a suicide. She had also sought a "burner" cellphone.

Russell had accused her ex-husband of abusing their children. The Louisville Metro Police Department reportedly found no evidence to back the claims.

Following the recent investigation, Russell’s ex-husband was awarded full custody of their children.

Russell, who faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence, will go to trial on Aug. 22.

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