David Voelkert, 38, met 17-year-old Jessica Studebaker on the social network Facebook and the pair quickly started a friendship that led David to tell the teen about his plan to track down and kill his ex-wife, there was just one problem with his plan, it turns out Studebaker was a fake account created by his ex-wife.
David and his ex-wife were locked in a custody battle and Jessica was created to draw out incriminating information about David and his motives. For some reason (likely because he’s male) David chose to befriend a 17-year-old and leak details about his plan. He went so far as to admit that he planted a GPS unit on his ex-wife’s van so it would be easier to hire a hitman to hunt her down, telling Jessica:
“I am going to find someone to take care of her and now it will be easier because I know where she is at all times.”
David then went on to ask Jessica if she would help him with the hit:
“I can do what I want and not have to worry about not seeing my family anymore. You should
find someone at your school. There should be some gang-bangers there that would put a cap in her ass for $10,000. I am done with her crap!”
For his effort Voelkert has been arrested by FBI agents for use of an illegal tracking device (GPS) but not at this time for planning a hit on his wife.
The question remains however as to whether such online stings are legally admissible in court. We can’t legally record phone messages and use them against the caller without a court order, yet an increasing number of “online stings” are cropping up and being successfully tried in courts of law.
It turns out the FBI doesn’t think so, Voelkert was released from custody after he was able to prove to law enforcement agents that he knew Studebaker was his wife all along and he was simply attempting to gather information to use against his ex-wife in their custody battle.
According to the SmokingGun:
Voelkert spent four days in custody until federal prosecutors moved yesterday to drop charges against him. He was freed after proving to investigators that he knew all along that his ex-wife was the one sending him messages from the “Studebaker” account. Voelkert explained that he played along with the ruse so that he could use his ex-spouse’s machinations against her in their custody case.
To support this contention, Voelkert provided FBI agents with a May 25 notarized affidavit in which he describes receiving a friend request from “Jessica Studebaker,” whom he suspected was his ex-wife. “I am lying to this person,” he stated, “to gain positive proof that it is indeed my ex-wife trying to again tamper in my life.” He added, “In no way do I have plans to leave with my children or do any harm to Angela Dawn Voelkert or anyone else.”
The affidavit was signed six days before the conversation began and was witnessed by a notary at a local bank who verified their signature and the date of the affidavit with FBI officials.
In the meantime, here’s a screencast of the fake account created by Voelkert’s ex-wife: