Mo. woman admits planning husband’s murder

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri woman has admitted to helping plan her husband’s murder with her lover, who was also her church pastor.

Teresa Stone, 40, pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to commit murder in the March 2010 shooting death of Randy Stone of Independence, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/InjDsM). Stone entered the plea with the understanding that her maximum sentence would be 10 years, officials said.

Teresa Stone remains free on bond while awaiting sentencing, which Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Marco Roldan scheduled for June 15.

Prosecutors accused Stone of conspiring with her minister, David Love, who is serving a life prison sentence after admitting in November that he shot Randy Stone to death. Love pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action. His decision to plead guilty was not contingent upon him testifying against Teresa Stone, Love’s lawyer said at the time.

Love’s attorney, Molly Hastings, said in November it was well known that Love and Teresa Stone had been having an affair.

“That was not something we intended to dispute during the course of the trial,” Hastings said then. “There was always a distinction between the affair and the homicide. All parties conceded there was a relationship between the two.”

Love once was the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Independence and delivered part of Randy Stone’s eulogy. He moved to South Carolina not long after Stone’s death and was arrested there in November 2010 after a Jackson County grand jury indicted him on first-degree murder and armed criminal action charges.

During the proceeding in Jackson County Court on Monday, Teresa Stone told the judge she understood the charges and that she was waiving her right to a trial. She didn’t offer any explanations for the slaying but grew emotional when she admitted, while answering questions from her lawyer, John P. O’Connor, that she helped plan her husband’s murder.

Randy Stone’s mother, Clara Koehler, said later that watching Stone admit her role was difficult.

“It was hard, a whole lot harder than it was with David (Love), but that’s probably because Teresa was my daughter-in-law,” she said.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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