WA nurse enters plea on murder conspiracy charge

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) -- A Washington nurse accused of trying to hire an undercover detective to kill her estranged husband has pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

The News Tribune reports (http://is.gd/yuSV1k ) that 47-year-old Karen Lofgren of Gig Harbor entered her plea Friday afternoon. She entered the same plea to a charge of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.

Her lawyer Wayne Fricke says his client has a "pristine past" and it appears to him the idea was "planted."

Bail was set at $1 million.

Lofgren is a registered nurse at a children's hospital. A hospital spokeswoman says Lofgren is on leave while the charges are resolved.

The Pierce County prosecutor's office says sheriff's officers began investigating after getting a tip that a woman was making inquiries about getting rid of her husband.

Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer says Lofgren is accused of wanting to have her 47-year-old husband killed in a fake robbery so she could collect insurance money.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com