Clients Should Not Ask a PI to Murder Anyone

Jessica Jones season two kicks off with a murder for hire issue in AKA Start at the Beginning. Jessica’s client is a pizzeria owner who hired Jessica to investigate whether the owner’s boyfriend/employee was having an affair. After confirming that the boyfriend was cheating on his pizza-momma, the pizzeria owner asked Jessica to kill him for playing “You’re not the regular pizza boy.”

Jessica correctly identified this request as solicitation for murder and told the client “no.” Another term is “murder for hire” and the pizzeria owner could be charged for Criminal Solicitation in the Second Degree, which is when a person, with the intent that another person engage in conduct constituting a class A felony, then asks that another person to engage in such criminal conduct. N.Y. Penal Law § 100.10. As such, a district attorney would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pizzeria owner actually intended the pizza boy be killed. People v. Kass, 874 N.Y.S.2d 475, 479 (App. Div.). As Jessica rejected the murder for hire offer, there could not be any conspiracy charges, as no conspiracy to commit murder was formed. N.Y. Penal Law § 105.15.

The pizzeria owner’s statements to Jessica were party admissions under the rules of evidence. As such, Jessica could testify to those statements in court over any hearsay objections that the pizzeria owner’s statements were out of court statements offered for the truth of the matter asserted. The pizzeria owner’s statements showed intent for the pizza boy be killed under her belief that Jessica as a vigilante killed people. While Luke Cage and Danny Rand were the Heroes for Hire, Jessica does not commit Murder for Hire.

On a very odd note, the pizza boy was indignant that he had been caught cheating, blaming the owner for having him investigated. The pizzeria owner rightly could have fired him for misuse of company resources for using pizza delivery as a cover for an affair. As a cheating deadbeat, she was well within her rights to throw him out.