ORMOND-BY-THE-SEA, Fla. - The former lover of a man accused of kidnapping and fatally shooting his estranged wife from the Ormond Beach area in November has pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the case, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.
Belenda Sandy, 56, of Buckhorn, West Virginia, was indicted on March 8.
Officials said she was romantically involved with Jarvis Wayne Madison, 58, and lied to investigators when they asked her about his whereabouts after his estranged wife Rachael L. Madison, 44, disappeared Nov. 27 while she was jogging in Ormond-by-the-Sea.
Rachael Madison had traveled from Indiana to Florida to stay with an aunt and distance herself from Jarvis Madison, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said.
Jarvis Madison stayed at Sandy's home in West Virginia, and she fed him and gave him money and tires for his car before he drove to Ormond Beach and kidnapped his estranged wife, according to a news release. Sandy and Jarvis Madison had a 23-minute phone conversation shortly before the victim disappeared, officials said.
Investigators called Sandy on Nov. 28, but she denied having any information about Jarvis Madison's whereabouts.
"This statement was false and misleading. Even after the investigator informed Sandy that the victim had likely been abducted by Madison, she continued to claim that she had not seen Madison in a long time," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Sandy met with Jarvis Madison after that phone conversation and told him that authorities were looking for him, officials said. Jarvis Madison then drove to Tennessee, where he buried Rachael Madison, who had been fatally shot, according to a news release.
"Sandy’s misleading conduct towards the investigator ultimately delayed Madison’s arrest on federal kidnapping charges, and delayed the recovery of the victim’s body," the United States Attorney's Office said.
Sandy's sentencing date has not yet been set.
Jarvis Madison is charged with kidnapping that resulted in a death, interstate domestic violence, and interstate stalking. His trial is set to begin in the March 2018 trial term.
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