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Pair accused of plotting man's death; police say they tried to buy grenade

VERSAILLES — A Harrodsburg man and woman were charged Tuesday with conspiracy to murder for allegedly planning to kill the woman's ex-husband, Kentucky State Police said.

State police arrested Lavena K. Lear, 26, and Mark A. Jackson, 25, in Versailles. They were taken to the Woodford County jail.

The two discussed ways to complete their plans to kill Lear's ex-husband, Brian Keith Lear, 30, of Harrodsburg, state police said in a release. Through an undercover investigation, Lavena Lear and Jackson purchased what they thought was a real grenade to use in those plans, police said.

The transaction through an undercover police officer took place in Versailles, where the Lears had lived before moving to Harrodsburg, said Versailles Police Detective James Fugate. Versailles police assisted state police in the arrests.

The Lears were married in Mercer County in April 2004, were separated in July 2005 and were divorced in January 2006, according to Woodford court records.

Together they had one son, 4, and Lavena Lear had a son, 6, from another relationship, according to court records.

Woodford court records indicate the marriage was turbulent, with Keith Lear accused of twice violating a domestic violence order. In 2005, Keith Lear pulled a telephone out of the wall as Lavena Lear tried to call police. He paid $146.50 in fines and court costs in that case.

The investigation is continuing.