Former Central Texas Woman Rearrested In Murder-For-Hire Case

(January 31, 2008)--The estranged wife of a man shot and killed in his home in December was arrested Wednesday along with two other people in an alleged murder-for-hire plot.

Vera Elizabeth Guthrie-Nail, 42, of Carrollton was charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder.

Guthrie-Nail grew up in the Waco area and graduated from China Spring High School in 1984.

Mark Lyle Bell of McKinney was charged with capital murder and conspiracy to commit capital murder.

Thomas Edward Grace of Carrollton was charged with conspiracy to commit capital murder.

Craig Nail, 36, was found dead in his home the day after Christmas.

His girlfriend, Therisa Hofman, 38, was wounded when she walked into the house and encountered the assailant.

She was able to reach a neighbor’s house, from which a 911 call was placed reporting the shooting.

Frisco police released no information on where Guthrie-Nail, Bell and Grace were arrested or what led police to the suspects.

The Nails were involved in a bitter divorce case, which was filed in May 2006.

Guthrie-Nail, was arrested earlier this month in Carrollton and was charged with criminal solicitation murder in the death of her estranged husband.

Bond was set at $100,000 on that charge.

Detectives executed a search warrant two weeks ago at the home of her mother on Old China Spring Road and at an adjacent mobile home.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the warrant, a Frisco police detective interviewed a longtime friend of Guthrie-Nail’s.

The woman said she visited with Guthrie-Nail after the shootings and said Guthrie-Nail told her “that she did not hire anyone to kill Craig, nor did she ask anyone to kill Craig, she did however know it was going to happen,” the affidavit says.

The woman said Guthrie-Nail told her that the killer was someone in California who had been contacted by a member of Bikers Against Child Abuse, to which Guthrie-Nail also belonged.

She said that person, who was not identified, watched her estranged husband’s home for four months and intended to make the attack look like a murder-suicide.

Craig Nail’s 16-year-old daughter was also supposed to have been killed, the affidavit says.

Guthrie-Nail told the woman “she does not know who the killer is, but she saw him on one occasion, but never met him,” the affidavit says.

The affidavit indicates Guthrie-Nail did communicate with the killer on an older pay-as-you-go cell phone that had belonged to her mother and that she had told her mother to destroy the phone if police ever showed up at the house.

Before the woman left, she said Guthrie-Nail gave her a bag of documents and two .22 caliber rounds “from the same box of ammunition used to kill Craig,” the affidavit says.

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