Oklahoma Woman Accused Of 'Murder For Hire' After Husband Found Dead

A man was found fatally shot, his wife is now accused of murder for hire.

Monday, September 18th 2023, 10:19 pm

 A Lawton woman is accused of murder for hire, days after her estranged husband was found shot dead in a city park.

Susen Hunter has been charged with solicitation for first-degree murder.

According to police reports, before the victim John Velas was killed, he told police his wife wanted him murdered.

Velas reported he was warned about the murder for hire plot in mid-August. Velas told an investigator he had been approached by a man who claimed Velas’ wife tried to hire him for the job.

On Labor Day, Lawton Police responded to an early morning call.

“We were called to Elmer Thomas Parks on shots heard in the area,” said Lawton Police Sgt. Chris Blessing.

Officers discovered John Velas dead.

“When officers got there they did notice the victim was not moving, they did notice he had a gunshot wound,” said Blessing.

An officer realized he’d spoken to Velas just days before.

“Our victim did indicate that someone tried to approach him. A hired hand for the properties, saying hey, I believe your wife wants you dead,” said Blessing. 

Hours later police arrested Velas' estranged wife Susen Hunter for soliciting murder for hire.

“It seems like they were going through a lengthy divorce, and it’s kind of dragged out, and from my understanding it was because of the multiple properties both owned,” said Blessing.

Hunter, the owner and operator of Lawton Cottages, spoke off camera and claimed she’s the victim of domestic violence.

She said Velas armed his home with cameras to record her.

“Count them cameras, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. There are twelve cameras aimed at me and my house,” said Susen Hunter.

Hunter says the man who told police she tried to hire him to kill her husband, is disgruntled and was living in a property she managed.

That property owner, Michael Montgomery, says Hunter lived in fear and hired him for private security.

“He would follow around and take pictures of her guests and their cars,” said Michael Montgomery. 

Montgomery says Velas' murder and Hunter's arrest have come as a shock.

“It’s either a coincidence or it was something he setup to frame her,” said Montgomery.

So far police have not arrested anyone for murder. They ask anyone with information about this case to contact them at (580) 581-3272. To remain anonymous contact Crime Stoppers of SW Oklahoma at (580) 355-4636.


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