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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

BREAKING NEWS: Nolen to serve 8 years in murder-for-hire plot
Seventeen years of 25-year sentence suspended
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Angela Robin Nolen

Friday, September 20, 2013

By K.A. WAGONER - Staff Writer

The former kindergarten teacher who hired a hit man to kill her ex-husband in February will serve eight years of a 25-year sentence.

Angela Robin Nolen, 47, of Moneta pleaded guilty in June to one count of solicitation to commit murder for meeting with an undercover state police agent and paying him $4,000 to kill her ex-husband, Paul "Jay" Strickler.

During a summary of the evidence against Nolen in June, Franklin County Commonwealth's Attorney Tim Allen said a coworker at Sontag Elementary School was provided with information by the school nurse on Feb. 11 that Nolen was searching for someone to kill her ex-husband.

Nolen was a kindergarten teacher at the school before her arrest.

The school nurse, Cathy Warren Bennett, 37, of Rocky Mount pleaded guilty in August to conspiracy to solicit murder. She will be sentenced on Oct. 17 at 3 p.m. in circuit court.

The coworker contacted the police and was provided with a telephone number to give to Nolen, Allen said. Nolen was told to ask for "Greg."

On Feb. 18, Sgt. J.G. Blankenship with the Virginia State Police received a call from Nolen at 4:20 p.m., Allen said. They agreed to meet at 4 p.m. the next day in Lowe's parking lot in Rocky Mount.

Surveillance had been set up in the undercover agent's car and in the parking lot to record the meeting, Allen said. When Nolen arrived, she got into the front seat of Blankenship's car and said she wanted Strickler "eliminated from this earth" several times.

The two negotiated a price of $8,000 for the hit, Allen said, and Nolen went to her bank to withdraw $4,000. She returned to the parking lot at 4:38 p.m. and gave the cash to Blankenship.

The next morning, state police agents questioned Nolen, and, at first, she denied any involvement in the murder-for-hire plot, Allen said. However, she eventually confessed and demonstrated remorse, he added.

(See Monday's edition of The Franklin News-Post for more on the sentencing hearing.)

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