A Florida woman who once traveled the NASCAR circuit as a “Winston girl” is accused of trying to hire a hitman to murder her car dealer ex-husband.
The Bradenton Herald reports that Rachael Natalie Leahy, 34, was charged with solicitation of murder on September 8.
Leahy’s resume says she is a former “Winston Girl” who once traveled the NASCAR circuit; she’s also sold perfume and cars, says the resume, which Leahy posted on LinkedIn.
The young mother – whose Facebook page is filled with photos of her children – is accused in a foiled murder-for-hire plot.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Leahy Allegedly Paid a Detective She Thought Was a Hitman & Made a Down Payment
The Sheriff’s Department says that Leahy met with a detective she thought was a hitman, said Fox 13.
“In the subsequent undercover operation, Rachael hired a Sheriff’s detective to kill David,” alleged the Sheriff’s Department’s news release obtained by Heavy. “The agreed cost of the murder for hire was $5,000 and Rachael had already paid $2,500.”
ABC Action News says that Leahy’s ex-husband is David Leahy, 59, of Sarasota, and he was notified by the Sheriff’s office that “his ex-wife had (allegedly) hired someone to try to murder him.”
2. The Motive Was a Custody Dispute, Authorities Allege
Bradenton Patch reports that the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department believes the motive was a custody dispute.
“The investigation revealed that Rachael wanted David killed so she could have custody of their children,” says the Sheriff’s Department’s release.
3. Leahy’s Resume Says She Studied Marketing & Worked With Abused Children
According to her Facebook page, Leahy says she studied marketing at the University of South Florida and attended Bible Baptist Christian School.
On LinkedIn, she describes herself as Owner/Technician of Aloha Auto Salon. On LinkedIn, she also describes herself as a “Business Owner, Marketing & Advertising Specialist & Business Development Leader.”
Leahy’s resume says she worked in auto detailing, auto sales, telemarketing, and as a “Winston Girl” brand advocate, traveling the NASCAR circuit. Her resume also says she worked as a Guardian Ad Litem volunteer in 2013 to “be the voice of children who are abused and neglected” and was a lifeguard and Civil Air Patrol volunteer.
Her resume describes Leahy as “highly creative and innovative with an eye for design; A strong problem-solver and driven to meet goals; personable, working well independently and as a team; Self-motivated and analytical; Adaptable and versatile – performing well under pressure, and able to adapt and improvise to unique assignments; and a strong-work ethic with long-term dedication!”
4. The Couple Had Been Engaged in a Contentious Divorce With Abuse Allegations
Leahy’s Facebook page is an ode to her children. It’s filled with photos of them in her arms, at birthday parties, at Disney World, and at the beach. However, things were not always so sunny.
Leahy’s husband was previously arrested; the information with his mugshot says he works in auto sales.
According to WTSP, David Leahy filed for divorce in September 2011 and, three months later, “Rachael Leahy filed a domestic violence injunction against him…He was arrested for battery in 2012, and sued her and a moving company in Manatee County.” They were still in family court regarding their children as recently as a few weeks before Leahy’s arrest, said WTSP.
Online records say he is a used car dealer. His company’s website says “Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Lexus, and Porsche are our most popular inventory.”
5. The Investigation Started When Authorities Were Tipped off to the Alleged Plot
ABC 7 reports that authorities received a tip in August. They then set up the undercover sting, and arrested Leahy on September 8.
“The investigation began on 8-22-16 when the Sheriff’s Office received information that Leahy wanted her ex-husband, David Joseph Leahy Jr…of Sarasota, dead,” said the Sheriff’s news release.