Woman arrested in Ashland County murder-for-hire scheme

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ASHLAND COUNTY, OH -An Ashland County woman has been arrested in a murder for hire scheme to kill a 32-year-old man and his 6-year-old daughter.

Deborah Matz, 61, of Redhaw, is facing a first degree conspiracy to commit murder charge. The Ashland County Sheriff’s Department said it thwarted the plot after receiving a tip Thursday that she was actively seeking a hit man to kill the man and child. Friday, Matz arranged to meet with an undercover officer in the parking lot of the Ashland Walmart, where she gave a $1,000 cash down payment for the hit, according to investigators.

“You have somebody that's very determined, and very boisterous, and they know what they want,” Ashland County Chief Deputy Carl L. Richert II said. When she drove out of the parking lot and onto East Main Street, deputies arrested Matz, who they said was cooperative and admitted to the plot. They said she claimed she wanted the pair killed because they had molested her relative. Richert said investigators were looking into that claim, and he described the intended targets as friends of the suspect. “It’s not really clear what the implication was with both of them, but Deb Matz was mad, she wanted these two people to disappear and she had the money to do it,” Richert said.

Matz appeared in Lorain County Common Pleas Court for an initial bond hearing Monday. She is being held on a half million dollar bond and has been ordered to have no contact with her intended victims. She’s scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon. These charges are obviously incredibly serious,” said Adam Stone, the court-appointed defense attorney representing Matz. “Right now my client is an innocent woman, and she has not been convicted of anything.”

Richert said Matz has past convictions for domestic violence and driving while intoxicated, adding that she has a substance abuse issue.