Jailed woman charged in murder-for-hire plot

Posted at 4:16 PM, Jan 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-11 14:37:22-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- The woman accused of  accused of shooting, burning and stabbing pregnant woman has been indicted in a murder-for-hire scheme.

Kayla C. Armstrong was arraigned Thursday on charges of attempted capital murder and solicitation to commit capital murder.

Armstrong's next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 15.

Armstrong, a suspect in the 2008 murder of a pregnant woman, was arrested in January of 2012 in Chesterfield County. Armstrong was found hiding in a closet, according to Kevin Connolly, Supervisory Inspector with the U.S. Marshals Task Force.

Armstrong was wanted for the murder of Keiona Cecilia Tiree Braxton, who was three months pregnant at the time .Braxton was found shot, stabbed and burned inside a townhouse she shared with boyfriend Kenneth Lee. 

Armstrong is accused of shooting, burning and stabbing Braxton. Police say Lee had fathered Armstrong's baby years earlier.

She was indicted on first-degree murder charges in October of 2011 before fleeing, leaving her home and young child behind.

Shortly before Braxton's death, Armstrong had been charged with assaulting Braxton, and spent six months in jail before being acquitted due to conflicting evidence.

But Thursday,  Joyce Braxton, Keonia's mother, got a surprise call from one of her daughters, saying Armstrong is now being charged in a murder for hire plot to kill Kenneth Lee. 

Armstrong, who's been jailed for a year in Henrico county, is accused of soliciting the murder December 22.

Police sources tell CBS 6  that detectives got wind of it by listening in on phone conversations she made inside the jail.

‘If you’re already locked up for a murder, and then plotting on another one is shocking,” Braxton said.

Soon after Keiona’s murder, Braxton says she coped by turning her life over to God. ‘

We asked her what would she say to Armstrong if given the opportunity.

“I would say to give her life to the Lord, and ask God to forgive her…God is the only one that can save you at this time,” she said.

CBS 6 spoke to Armstrong's sister off camera. She was distraught. She declined to tell us her name, but did say she was was praying for her sister, the Braxton and Lee families.

Armstrong’s hearing on the new charges is set for January 15th

The trial date for the murder charge of Keiona Braxton is set for January 29th.