Third person charged in alleged murder-for-hire plot



Published: 05-23-2017 9:46 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A third person has denied involvement in an alleged murder-for-hire plot.

Elinor Roberge, 47, of Holyoke, pleaded not guilty Tuesday morning in Northampton District Court to a charge of conspiracy in the first degree.

Roberge allegedly conspired with two other individuals on April 6 — husband and wife Jason and Cynthia P. Coons — to commit murder, according to court documents.

The Coons were arraigned a few weeks earlier on the same charge, with both pleading not guilty in Northampton District Court.

Jason Coons, 38, is already incarcerated in the Hampshire County Jail and House of Correction on separate criminal charges brought against him last year. Cynthia P. Coons, 50, is being held on $100,000 bail.

Roberge and Cynthia P. Coons were roommates, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Roberge was released on conditions she stay away from and not have contact with the alleged victim, as well as Jason and Cynthia Coons. She must also report to probation in person, once a week.

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The intended target of the plot was the alleged victim in Jason Coons’ pending rape case in Hampshire Superior Court in order to get his case dismissed, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

In court documents for Cynthia P. Coons, the state argued that she was an “integral player in two separate murder-for-hire plots” and that payments had begun. A majority of the court documents in the case have been impounded.

In a separate case, Jason Coons was indicted in July 2016 on two counts of aggravated rape, a count of kidnapping and intimidation of a witness.

Court records show Coons has a lengthy criminal history, including multiple convictions for crimes of violence and weapons possession, including assault with intent to rape, indecent assault and battery on a person 14 or older, indecent assault and battery on a child, and unarmed robbery on a person over 60.

Coons is a registered level-2 sex offender and has had three restraining orders issued against him in the past. He also has been charged with and admitted to failing to properly register as a sex offender in the past and violated court probation orders on numerous occasions, according to court documents.