A Fayette County judge dismissed a charge of conspiracy to commit homicide lodged against a Republic woman who allegedly tried to hire a man to kill her husband.
Judge Linda R. Cordaro found prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to support that charge against Roxanne Guty, 52.
Guty allegedly offered to split a $50,000 life insurance policy with Norman Pennington in exchange for him killing her husband, Arthur Guty Jr.
Her attorney, Ryan Harrison James, had argued that making the conspiracy charge stick required an agreement between Roxanne Guty and Pennington. James argued that, in preliminary hearing testimony, Pennington said he believed she was joking when she approached him about the murder-for-hire, meaning he never shared her intent to kill Arthur Guty.
“The testimony of Mr. Pennington at the preliminary hearing was insufficient to establish that Ms. Guty was involved in a conspiracy to commit homicide,” Cordaro wrote. “Once Mr. Pennington believed Ms. Guty to be serious, he went and told Mr. Guty about the alleged plot.”
While the conspiracy charge has been dismissed, Guty is still awaiting trial on charges of attempted homicide and criminal solicitation.
Cordaro also granted James’ motion to allow Pennington’s past criminal history to be used to impeach him at trial. James will be allowed to introduce Pennington’s prior criminal record, including various theft, burglary, receiving stolen property, theft by deception, forgery and false reports cases from 1977 through 1985.
Cordaro noted those convictions are crimes of falsehood, and the case against Guty rests solely on Pennington’s testimony. While more than 30 years have passed since his last of those convictions, Cordaro found the probative value of allowing testimony about them outweighs any prejudicial effects as it will be up to a jury to determine what weight to give Pennington’s testimony.
Guty is currently free on $100,000 bond. A trial date has not yet been set.