A Kentucky pediatrician accused of plotting her ex-husband’s murder sought spiritualists to put a “death spell” on him, according to court documents.

Dr. Stephanie Russell allegedly confided in nurses at her office, Kidzlife Pediatrics in Louisville, that she wanted her ex-husband dead and asked them for help hiring a hitman to get the job done, but one of the nurses alerted the FBI to her scheming.

“In March 2022, Ms. Russell reached out to self-described spiritualists for help, asking (with all credulity) for a ‘death spell’ on her ex-husband and texting, ‘He is molesting my child,’” Russell’s attorneys said in court documents filed last month.

“Looking for a death spell,” Russell wrote in one WhatsApp message to an alleged healer.

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The healer later told Russell that her “death success” is 85%, adding: “100% guarantee or money back.”

In a message to another alleged healer, Russell asks if the healer uses “Quimbana” or “Voodoo.”

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“I had a meeting with a Brazilian woman,” the defendant wrote in another message. “She said I would find someone who would believe me and help me.”

Federal prosecutors allege that Russell thought her ex-husband, who had recently been granted full custody of their children, was abusing them. Louisville police looked into Russell’s allegations of child abuse but eventually found them to be unsubstantiated and dropped the investigation. 

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That’s when Russell allegedly turned to her colleagues for help, and one of them put her in touch with an undercover FBI agent purporting to be a hitman.

“Consistent with all this, a chief part of Ms. Russell’s conversations with the undercover agent / pretend hitman in May 2022 was her certainty that her ex-husband was hurting her children. ‘He has been molesting my little boy,’ Ms. Russell told him, ‘[h]e’s been molesting him since he was two and a half.’ ‘He’s got early onset dementia that nobody f—–g cares about,’ she added in a later conversation,” the court documents state.

Russell’s attorneys are now arguing that the defendant was not in a sound state of mind when she allegedly reached out to the undercover agent to kill her husband and make it look like a suicide for $7,000. She is accused of putting half that amount in an envelope in a drop box outside a medical office for the undercover agent.

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“So I’m a really nice person, I tell the truth, this is not something that I do,” she told the undercover agent in a phone call, according to a transcript. “I mean, I have made peace with this a long time ago. I mean literally I have prayed every day to God, the spirits, the everything, like could I do some voodoo, where’s the pin, where’s the doll, can I push a tree over on him.”

Her attorneys are asking the court to allow testimony from defense forensic psychiatrist Dr. Walter Butler, who says Russell “‘deteriorated to the point of a delusional psychosis under increasing intensities of stress and distress related to a very contentious custody battle.'”

“By the time Ms. Russell engaged in the actions alleged in the indictment, Dr. Butler observes, she had ‘regressed into a kind of psychotic ’road rage state of mind,”‘ her attorneys said.

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Butler further argues that Russell “‘became profoundly delusional and obsessively fixated’ when dealing with issues related to her children’s welfare,” and “her behavior became singularly focused and obsessively goal directed in compelling that she protect her children at all costs.” 

Staff at the Pediatric Forensic Medicine agency determined that Russell was exhibiting signs of Munchausen syndrome by proxy with her allegations of abuse.

Russell’s ex filed for divorce in 2018, and it was finalized in 2020, according to local news outlet WDRB. The defendant is due in court in April.