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2 charged in alleged murder plot plead not guilty

VERSAILLES — A Harrodsburg man and woman pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of conspiracy to commit murder.

Lavena K. Lear, 26, and Mark A. Jackson, 25, were arrested in Versailles last week by Kentucky State Police and Versailles police.

Police say the two conspired to kill Lear's ex-husband, Brian Keith Lear, 30, of Harrodsburg "when they solicited another person to obtain a grenade to blow up a vehicle with victim inside," according to an arrest citation. The person who was solicited was an undercover cop.

Lavena Lear and Jackson appeared Monday before Woodford District Judge Vanessa Dickson. The judge increased the bond for each from $20,000 to $100,000 cash. Dickson said she would reconsider bonds after "I hear the strength of the evidence."

Woodford County Attorney Alan George said he sought the bond increases because Brian Keith Lear "is scared to death."

The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for March 25. At that time the judge will hear evidence to determine whether there is probable cause to send the case to a grand jury for possible indictment.

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.

Lavena Lear is represented by Carl Banks of Versailles. Public defender Doug Crickmer will represent Jackson.

In court Monday, Banks said Brian Keith Lear had committed several violations of domestic-violence orders.