2:00 PM

Diane Elaine Greer (mug shot GCSO)

A Nixa woman is behind bars and has been charged with assault after authorities in Springfield were able to foil a murder-for-hire scheme.

A confidential informant (C1) contacted authorities in September and told them that Diane Elaine Greer and her boyfriend, David L. Thomas, were looking for a hit man to kill Thomas's ex-wife.

Thomas was mad because his former wife was trying to get him in trouble with his parole officer and he thought he could profit from her death, according to court records.

Greer, 47, allegedly provided a butcher knife to the "hit man"... who was really an undercover cop.   She also gave him $200, some musical equipment and said she would give him the the keys to a Jeep once the woman was dead, according to court documents.

At first the conversations with the confidential informant were only with Thomas, but that changed in November.  The plot became more serious after David Lee Thomas was arrested on November 2nd and sent to the Missouri Department of Corrections on November 7th, according to the probable cause statement.

The confidential informant told authorities that Greer called them and said Thomas instructed her to "carry out the plan" of killing his ex-wife.  Greer told the informant that Thomas had an air tight alibi because he was in prison and that she was growing antsy waiting for the CI to find someone to kill Carol Sue Thomas and that if the hit was not carried out soon, she was going to find someone else to do the job.

On November 8th, the first meeting between the undercover officer and Greer took place.  The next day the undercover officer went to Greer's home where she told the officer that she wanted proof that Greer had been killed.  At that meeting she also gave the undercover cop the key to the Jeep and told them to kill Greer while she (Greer) was at work so she would also have an alibi.

On November 13th, cops staged a fake murder scene that made it look like Carol Thomas's neck had been slit.  When the officer showed Greer the photograph, she "thanked him for killing CT." 

When the undercover officer tried to take possession of the Jeep as payment on November 14th, it wasn't where Greer said it would be.  The cop told Greer that he needed it as payment and she allegedly told him that she would try to locate it.

In the days following the bogus murder, Greer was becoming paranoid after CT's obituary was not made public, according to court records.

On Tuesday (11-19-12), Greer was contacted at her place of employment and agreed to come to police headquarters "to discuss the disappearance of CT."

Detective Neal McAmis writes, "Greer initially told me that she did not know anyone that would want to harm CT and said CT did not have any enemies."  When he showed Greer the staged photographs, she "attempted to act surprised, but showed no emotion. She said it was terrible that someone would do that to CT," the probable cause statement said.

Greer denied having any knowledge or involvement in CT's staged murder.  McAmis then signaled for the undercover officer to come into the room.  When he walked in the door, "she stared and him and was silent." 

When McAmis asked her if she knew him, she "put her head down and admitted she knew who he was."

Greer admitted that she gave the officer money and the knife, but said it was Thomas who wanted his ex-wife dead.  Greer said Thomas was mad because CT would show up at his house unexpectedly and he didn't think that would ever stop.  According to online court records, Carol and David Thomas's divorce was finalized in August and she was awarded the family home.

Greer told investigators that she took part in the scheme because she loved Thomas and she wanted him to be happy.

Calls made to Greene County prosecutor Dan Patterson inquiring whether David Thomas, who is being held in Fulton on DWI convictions, was facing any charges connected to the murder-for-hire plot were not returned.

Greer is charged with felony assault, because Missouri law interprets attempted murder as assault in the first degree.

Prosecutor Dan Patterson has charged Greer, who is being held without bond, as a prior and persistent offender due to DWI convictions in Greene and Webster counties.  That could net Greer a longer prison sentence if she is convicted or pleads guilty.

UPDATE 02-06-14:

Greer pleaded guilty today to amended charges of conspiracy to commit murder.  In a negotiated plea agreement she agreed to testify against her co-conspirator, David Thomas, who was in prison at the time of the crime.

The duo believed that Thomas, who had his sight on his ex-wife's money, had an air tight alibi because he was doing time in the state pen.

Greer, who could face anywhere from 5 to 20 years in prison, won't learn her fate until the murder for hire and unlawful possession of firearms cases against Thomas are disposed of.