Tara Lambert pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit aggravated murder in an Ohio courtroom Wednesday, and a judge sentenced her to five years in prison, with credit for time served, the Columbus Dispatch reports.
Lambert, a one-time aspiring model living in Circleville, Ohio, was accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill the mother of her two stepchildren, her husband’s ex-wife, in 2015. The hitman turned out to be an undercover cop who recorded Lambert describing what she wanted to happen to her target and negotiating a down payment of $125.
Lambert, also known as Tara Arbogast, had previously been convicted of the same charge in 2016. A court of appeals overturned the conviction due to a technicality in the original charge in 2017. Lambert was freed from a seven-year sentence, having served 16 months. That time served will be credited toward her current sentence.
The Dispatch reports that in court Wednesday, “35-year-old Tara Arbogast (formerly known as Tara Lambert), wasn’t exactly repentant, either. As Pickaway County Common Pleas Judge P. Randall Knece told the courtroom that Arbogast had in July 2015 paid a man a $125 down payment to execute Kellie Cooke, Arbogast shook her head no and rolled her eyes. Then she pleaded guilty anyway to a single count of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder."
In February Lambert pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder, setting up a new trial.
The Scioto Post reports the target of the murder-for-hire plot, Kellie Cooke, was at Wednesday's hearing, who stated: “I feel sorry for your newborn baby, but you will be able to see her. If you had it your way, I wouldn’t be able to see mine, so I don’t feel bad for your sentence. It's time you pay for your actions.”