Middletown woman charged in murder for hire to get competency evaluation

A Middletown woman charged with plotting to kill an acquaintance in September will be evaluated for her competency to stand trial.

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 aggravated murder, a first-degree felony.

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

Middletown police say Back wanted the alleged intended target out of the way so she could leave the country with her daughter.

Back was indicted in October by a Butler County grand jury and was in Judge Greg Stephen’s courtroom this morning for a pre-trial hearing. She is being held on $250,000 bond.

During the hearing, attorney Chris Frederick told the judge he has filed a motion questioning Back’s competency and requested a psychological evaluation.,

The judge granted that request and scheduled a competency evaluation hearing for Dec. 21.

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.

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

During a September preliminary hearing in Middletown Municipal Court, Middletown Police Detective Dave Creech 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 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.

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.

The alleged target, a mother and grandmother of six, spoke to the Journal-News previously from an out-of-town location, 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.

MORE: Babysitter charged in toddler’s death requests continuance of trial

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.”

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