A prominent animal rights attorney in Colorado charged in a "murder-for-hire" plot claims she was "set up" by a ranch hand turned police informant. Jennifer Emmi, founder of Colorado's Animal Law Center, is accused of trying to hire ranch hand Timothy Lindsey to "get rid of" of her estranged husband's girlfriend, an au pair who had taken care of the couple's three children, the Denver Post reports. Lindsey contacted authorities in Jefferson County and told investigators Emmi had offered him up to $100,000 and appeared to be serious, according to an affidavit. Emmi, 43, has been charged with solicitation of first-degree murder. She was already facing 16 other felony charges, including domestic abuse, stalking, and retaliating against witnesses. She is being held on a $3 million cash bond.
Authorities say another ranch hand, former military sniper Seth McCallum, told investigators that Emmi had asked him to kill people before, but he thought she was fantasizing. "This is a very serious allegation," Colin Bresee, the lawyer representing Emmi, tells CBS Denver. "It looked like the model family and all of a sudden her husband trades her in for a younger girl. She was irate." He notes, however, that Emmi later told the informant: "We are not going to do anything." Emmi tells KDVR that her marriage fell apart after she experienced health problems, but she never plotted to murder anybody. "I was set up, and I have been repeatedly set up," she says. "The whole thing is crazy. I don't want to hurt anyone." (Read more Colorado stories.)