Eighteen-year-old Fe Hadley was pronounced guilty on Monday for conspiring to commit first-degree murder against her ex-boyfriend, Ryan Vaughn. Her two co-conspirators testified against her last week, admitting their role in the unsuccessful 2017 murder plot.
The Washington teen has yet to be sentenced, but her trial in Benton County Superior Court ended with Monday’s guilty verdict. Hadley testified in her own defense on Friday, insisting her Facebook account had been hacked and she hadn’t written the messages planning to kill Vaughn.
According to prosecutors, 16-year-old Hadley had conspired with another classmate to kill Vaughn. For days prior to the attempted murder, prosecutors said Hadley sent Vaughn messages via social media, arranging a meet-up as part of an overall plot. They say she coaxed 18-year-old Vaughn to an area behind a local market on November 15, 2017.
Hadley “lured the intended victim to a location where the co-defendant, Jeremiah Cunningham, was waiting with a knife pursuant to a plan to kill the intended victim,” Benton County Prosecuting Attorney Andy Miller said in a statement.
Vaughn survived the attack, and Hadley was tried as an adult. Cunningham, her co-defendant, pleaded guilty in April to conspiracy to commit murder in the first-degree. Cunningham also testified last week in Hadley’s trial, identifying her as the mastermind behind the attempted murder. He was merely the muscle charged with carrying out the knife attack, he said. Cunningham was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and a third unidentified teen also took a deal for his role in the crime.
Hadley still denies having anything to do with the attack or the messages. According to the Tri-City Herald, she alleged from the stand that she thought Cunningham would only beat up her ex, not try to kill him. She also testified that several expressions found in the messages sent to Vaughn were ones she’d never used.
According to the Herald, Vaughn was also called to the stand earlier in the week to discuss his short relationship with Hadley, noting it started crumbling, in part, because of the controlling behaviors of Cunningham, her friend.
As of Monday, it is not clear if Hadley’s lawyers will be appealing the verdict. They have not responded to any requests for comment.