The Washington Post

Annapolis woman is charged in murder-for-hire scheme

An Annapolis woman has been arrested on charges of helping her boyfriend try to hire a hit man to kill his wife.

Anne Arundel County police said Cynthia Lisa Mills, 47, of the 1600 block of Cananaro Drive helped her boyfriend, Wendell Brian Mansel, arrange and pay for a hit man in August. Mansel was arrested Aug. 3 in the case, and police said they discovered after his arrest that he was having an affair with Mills.

Leesburg police said Mansel, also of Annapolis, had asked a Leesburg man last summer for help in finding a contract killer. That man went to police, who then had an undercover officer pose as a hit man. Police said in a news release that Mansel met with the undercover officer in Leesburg over the course of several weeks “to lay out specifically what he wanted done — his desire was to have his wife killed.”

Leesburg officers worked with Anne Arundel police to ensure the safety of Mansel’s wife while they investigated him, Leesburg police said.

Leesburg police said Mansel delivered a gun and other valuables Aug. 3 as partial payment for the killing. Mansel is scheduled for trial in April in Loudoun County on charges of attempted capital murder, murder for hire and soliciting murder for hire.

Anne Arundel police said Mills helped plan the scheme and provided some of the money that Mansel paid to the undercover officer. The money exchange occurred in Anne Arundel, police said. Mills is charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, solicitation of murder, and attempted first-degree murder. Mills turned herself in to Anne Arundel police after investigators obtained a warrant for her arrest Friday, police said.

A neighbor of Mills’s in the Revell Downs neighborhood said Mills lives with her three grown children. Phone records had no listing for Mills, and court records did not list an attorney for her. A phone message left at a number listed for her address was not returned.

Mansel’s attorney, Peter Greenspun, said his client is on leave from the Department of Energy, though he declined to specify his job there. Mansel is also a Navy reservist who served in Afghanistan, Greenspun said. “He’s a guy with a fantastic and productive background who’s served his country well,” he said. “This is a difficult and tragic situation, and we’re working through it.”

Katherine Shaver is a transportation and development reporter. She joined The Washington Post in 1997 and has covered crime, courts, education and local government but most prefers writing about how people get — or don’t get — around the Washington region.



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