Marilyn Zhou, 56, intended to kill her ex-husband's new wife and 13-year-old stepdaughter.
However, when she arrived in Trenton, New Jersey to discuss the hit job with her chosen assassin it turned out he was a police officer.
The police had received a tip about Zhou’s murderous intentions which had prompted the case to be investigated by Mercer County prosecutor office's special investigation unit in New Jersey.
READ MORE:Little boy 'beaten to death by mum and step-dad after eating sisters' chocolates'
It was then decided that an undercover meeting with a police officer disguised as a hitman was necessary to confirm the suspicion raised from the tip.
During the exchange, which happened on December 18, Zhou handed over $21,000 (£17,300) to who she thought was a hitman and promised to deliver another $20,000 (£16,500) payment once the wife and daughter were dead.
Alongside the money, Zhou handed over photos of the wife and daughter, as well as disposable rubber gloves and a towel for use during their execution.
Zhou of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, had her home searched by Pennsylvania State Police where they found the remaining $20,000 that she’d set aside to give to the hitman after the murder was completed.
A press release by the prosecutor’s office confirmed that the intended primary target of Zhou’s attack had been her ex-husband’s new wife.
However, it also disclosed that the wife’s 13-year-old-daughter was also vulnerable to harm.
The prosecutor’s office said: "[Zhou] also told the undercover officer that if the victim’s 13 year old daughter was present at the time of the murder, she should also be murdered."
Zhou has been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, as well as one count of money laundering.
She is currently in custody where she awaits her upcoming trial.
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