‘Evil’ stepmum ordered hit on model rival
THE victim of a model's murder-for-hire plot has described her as one of the "most evil people I've ever met".
Tara Lambert, 35, was caught asking an undercover policeman to murder Kellie Cooke into a in 2015.
Lambert pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit aggravated murder and was sentenced to just five years in prison - something Cooke believes is far too short.
Her victim described the model, who was stepmother to her children, as "one of the most evil people I've ever met," during an appearance on the Dr Phil Show in the US.
Video shown during the trial showed Lambert in a car with the detective, who she thought was a contract killer, and laughing as she asked him to kill Cooke.
"I hate her," Lambert said of Cooke in the video.
The policeman then asks: "What do you want done with her?"
"Just put her in a chopper, you know like one of those lumberjack chopper things."
When the detective said he didn't have access to a wood chopper, Lambert replied that she was "joking" and that she was actually thinking of a "home invasion gone wrong."
She told him she wanted Cooke "gone."
'I need her away,' she said.
The court heard that Lambert had also provided a $150 down payment to the policeman and given him Cooke's photo to carry out the job.
Police have said the plot came about over a fight about custody visitation.
Cooke, who said she disapproved of the way which Lambert dressed inappropriately when she attended events with the kids, teared up in the interview as Dr Phil asked her about hearing someone she considered a friend laughing as she planned to kill her.
'Yeah it is (hard to wrap my head around),' she said.
Lambert was sentenced to seven years in prison on the charge in 2016.
An appeals court overturned that conviction last year, saying there was an error in the original indictment. She will get credit for time served from the earlier conviction.
The former model is married to Brandon Lambert, The Columbus Dispatch reported. He is the father of Cooke's two teenage girls, who were Lambert's stepdaughters in 2015.
The two women argued bitterly about visitation rights, which is what led Lambert to arrange for Cooke to be killed.
Lambert was earlier cleared of conspiring to murder Cooke's husband, Shawn, if he was at home when the hitman came to kill his wife.
Kellie Cooke's victim statement was read out in court by her daughter, 18-year-old Aspen Lambert, earlier this year.
'I knew what you were capable of. You lied, manipulated and controlled everything my girls done … You wanted my girls,' Cooke had written to Lambert.
'When you figured out I was on to you, you snapped. You tormented my family for a long time with no punishment.'