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Woman arrested in Ashland County murder-for-hire scheme appears in court

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ASHLAND COUNTY - Deborah Matz, 61, was led into an Ashland County Courtroom Wednesday in shackles, her attorney entering a not guilty plea for a first degree conspiracy to commit murder charge .

Matz was arrested after investigators say she offered an undercover officer $1000 to kill a 32-year-old friend and his 6-year-old daughter.

The exchange was made in the parking lot of a local Walmart store.

“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.

Matz said nothing in court on Wednesday as prosecutors discussed a history that includes a previous charge for domestic violence that was changed to disorderly conduct.

Her attorney hoped to convince Judge Ronald Forsthoefel to reduce a $500,000 bond and allow her to stay in her house under home detention.

"She has been in this community for almost her entire life except for 27 years when she was working. She has family here, a daughter, brother, mother, people who love her and care about her. This is a difficult time, this is a difficult case," said defense attorney Adam Stone.

Prosecutors believe the charge by itself would give her incentive to run.

"I think what balances most in favor of a high bond is literally the seriousness of the charge," said Gary Bishop.

Judge Forsthoefel said he would consider any written request for a change of her bond.

The case is expected to go to a grand jury this week.​