Updated 8:22 a.m., Saturday, November 17, 2012
Associated Press

LODI, N.J. (AP) A northern New Jersey woman who allegedly hired a hit man to kill the father of her three children has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy charges.

Mirtha Marchena-Chavez, who Passaic County prosecutors say is an illegal immigrant from Peru, remains jailed on $500,000 bail. She faces up to 20 years in state prison if convicted and could be deported.

The 36-year-old Lodi woman was arrested Tuesday after she allegedly paid the hit man $400 and gave him a photo of the intended victim. Authorities say she also provided detailed instructions on where and how the attack was to occur and what proof she wanted before the hit man would be fully paid.

Authorities have not said who the hit man was or how they learned of the alleged plot.

NJ mom denies plotting to kill her kids' father - SFGate