Police: Woman in Ark. Prison for Trying to Have Adjuster Killed Being Investigated Again

January 13, 2006

A woman sent to prison in Arkansas for 40 years for trying to hire a hit man to kill an insurance adjuster is under investigation again after authorities were told she was trying to hire another hit man from inside prison.

Vera Ann Arnold, 35, who lived at Jacksonville when she was convicted in July 1998, is under investigation by state police, according to Bill Sadler, a spokesman for the agency.

Sadler declined to provide details, but documents filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court by the state attorney general’s office say Arnold is accused of trying to have someone killed.

Arnold is being held at the state’s only prison for female inmates, the McPherson Unit at Newport. She has been incarcerated since her conviction and could be released in another three years, according to the Department of Correction.

The attorney general’s office filing does not say who was the intended target of the supposed murder scheme.

The state’s filing was part of a response to Arnold’s efforts to get access to records in an investigation by state police and prison personnel into allegations by a fellow inmate that she tried to hire a hit man to kill Dr. Craig Bardell. Bardell was medical director for Correction Medical Services Inc. at the McPherson unit until his resignation in July.

In her lawsuit, Arnold denies wrongdoing, claiming that the accusation was made by an inmate who is a pathological liar with whom she has engaged in a dispute.

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