Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: In 1992, a young woman I was somewhat associated with was arrested for attempting to hire someone to kill her romantic rival. The young man they were both interested in was a member of a popular Sacramento rock band. Someone had tipped off the police about her intentions, and a law enforcement person posing as a hit man met with her. Whatever became of this case?
Submitted by: Anonymous, Sacramento
ANSWER: Alaina Michelle Rowe pleaded guilty in December 1992 to solicitation for murder after being accused of attempting to hire a hit man to kill her teenage rival.
According to a story in The Bee, she pleaded guilty on the condition that she receive no more than six months in jail. She faced a maximum sentence of nine years in prison.
The prosecutor noted that Rowe, who was 18 at the time, had no prior criminal record and said a conviction in a jury trial probably would not have produced a more severe penalty.
Rowe was arrested Sept. 22, 1992 after she gave a check to an undercover sheriff's deputy as a deposit toward the "elimination" of a 17-year-old girl, who was vying with Rowe for the attentions of a rock musician.
Rowe's lawyer described the case as a situation that had gotten out of hand.
According to authorities, Rowe told a group of friends at a party that she wanted help finding a hit man to kill her rival. Although some thought she was joking, at least one person took her seriously and called police.
A Sacramento County sheriff's detective, posing as a hit man, met Rowe at a Java City coffeehouse on Fulton Avenue, where, the detective said, Rowe calmly talked of wanting her romantic rival removed.
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