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Criminal Justice

‘Obsessive’ Client Accused of Hiring Hit Man to Kill Lawyer’s Wife

Posted Dec 7, 2007 10:06 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New Hampshire woman has been arrested on charges she hired a hit man to kill the wife of a prominent lawyer she had hired.

Katherine Mandola is accused of offering to pay an undercover state trooper $4,000 to kill the wife of lawyer B.J. Branch, the Union Leader reports. An informant had told police Mandola was having an affair with Branch, but Branch’s Manchester law firm told the Associated Press that nothing could be further from the truth.

The law firm said Branch had represented Mandola despite some concerns, and he would not meet with her unless they were in a conference room with the doors open or unless others were present. Branch was a partner at Backus, Meyer, Solomon & Branch.

Branch's law partner, Jon Meyer, told AP that any statements Mandola may have made to an informant were not true. "The point is that this particular woman was a client—she had some clearly obsessive problems—but there was no personal relationship,” he said.

The firm website says Branch focuses on personal injury and medical malpractice cases.

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