Jody Back is charged with conspiracy to commit murder

Detective testifies about alleged Middletown murder-for-hire plot

Jody Back, 49, of the 800 block of Fifth Avenue, was arrested Sept. 28, following a traffic stop at Towne Boulevard and Ohio 122 and was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, a first-degree felony.

MORE: Alleged target of Middletown murder plot: ‘I just started bawling’

Back met with a confidential informant on Sept. 26, 27 and 28 to negotiate a monetary deal to have another woman killed, according to court records obtained by the Journal-News. Back provided an address for the woman and a time frame to have her murdered.

On Monday, Middletown Police Detective Dave Creech was the only witness during a preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court. He testified that Back’s daughter was placed in the care of another woman in April and that led to the alleged murder plot.

“She (Back) wanted her gone. She wanted to leave the country with her daughter,” Creech testified Back told police after her arrest.

The confidential informant contacted police on Sept. 26 telling them that Back was trying to hire to kill the woman, Creech said.

“(The informant) said through casual conversation (he) had gotten to know Jody over the last couple weeks and that the conversation led to where she wanted (the woman) murdered,” Creech said.

The detectives said the conversations took place at Back’s residence.

The detective said the informant indicated the agreed to amount was $5,000 but Back said she could not afford the price. That is when there was an agreement to turn over a house she owns on Yankee Road to the informant.

MORE: Middletown woman gave away house as payment for murder hit, police say

While Back was under surveillance by the police department, she went into a local credit union and signed over the house to the informant, Creech said. She was arrested shortly after.

Judge James Sherron found sufficient evidence to bind the case over to the Butler County grand jury for consideration following the hearing. Back remains behind bars in lieu of a $250,000 bond.

Several friends of Back were in the courtroom for support, but declined to comment. Three friends, who did not want to be named, said they do not believe the charges against Back

The alleged target, a mother and grandmother of six, did not attend the hearing. She did, however, speak to the Journal-News previously from a location out of town, and this news organization is not naming her because of possible safety concerns.

The woman said she befriended Back when she moved to the city in May 2017.

The friendship became strained during a custody dispute over Back’s child, who was living at the woman’s home. The woman said the child was often at her house.

The woman eventually filed for custody of the child.

On Sept. 28, she received a call from two Middletown detectives, who told her they had to meet with her “right now.”

“I thought it was about this (custody case),” the woman said. “When I go there they said, ‘We have just arrested Jody Back for conspiracy to commit murder. She was having you killed.”

MORE: $1.5 million bond for man charged with killing Hamilton teen.

Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.