A 37-year-old man is the third person behind bars in the May 9 murder-for-hire of 44-year-old Velvet Love Burns in her Doris Lane home on the city's Westside, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Stephen Shelton Hand, already in jail after an unrelated May 29 arrest, was officially charged Tuesday with murder.
He joins Burns' 50-year-old husband, Jerry "Tommy" Allen Burns, and his 30-year-old mistress, Amanda Lee Love, already jailed on murder charges in the case, the Sheriff's Office said. Court records show Hand and Love have three children together.
The May 9 homicide was staged to look like a burglary, the Sheriff's Office previously said. The husband told officers he had left the home about 3:30 a.m. for a job in Tallahassee, then a family friend found his wife's body that afternoon. But the investigation revealed he was having an affair with Love.
Burns is accused of conspiring with Love to murder his wife, offering $5,000 for her to drive other suspects to the scene on the dead-end road off Commonwealth Avenue, promising an additional sum of after the murder was done. The amount would be contributed from the victim's life insurance policy, the Sheriff's Office said.
In announcing Hand's arrest, the Sheriff's Office said he was seen stabbing the victim and destroying evidence. Forensic evidence found at the murder scene also places Hand there. The Sheriff's Office said he and the victim did not know each other.
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