Arrest made in murder plot |

Arrest made in murder plot

A 40-year-old Grass Valley woman was arrested Friday evening for allegedly trying to hire a hit man to kill her estranged husband for $5,000.

Erzsebet Vilma Racine is being held without bail at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility for solicitation to commit murder.

Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said a confidential informant contacted his office on Feb. 23 to report Racine was asking him to kill her 38-year-old husband, Dennis Racine.

“Arrangements were made to meet with her where she promised to pay $5,000 after (Dennis) was killed,” Royal said.

Racine met with the informant at 3 p.m. Friday in a parking lot off Highway 49 and Alta Sierra Drive and showed him a picture of her husband.

That’s when detectives moved in and made the arrest.

Dennis Racine said Friday his wife suffers from a bipolar disorder and that he is relieved she’s behind bars.

“I’m comforted she’s in jail right now,” he said. “Most people say you never know what will happen when someone has a mental illness.”

He said his wife filed for divorce three months ago and moved out of their Grass Valley home, leaving him to care for their two children, ages 4 and 9. She has been struggling with her illness since she stopped taking her medication – lithium – so she could have kids more than nine years ago, he said.

Since then, he added, she has struggled with bouts of depression and manic behavior as she tried new drugs to control her episodes.

“She’s really been out of sorts for the last two to three months,” he said. “She’s been staying with a guy in Rough and Ready. He’s been giving her money and lending her his car. It’s just been an ongoing saga of nightmares.”

Racine said he has tried to get his wife help but said getting treatment in Nevada County for mental illness can be a struggle in itself.

“You have to be sitting in traffic playing dominoes before you can get anyone to help you,” he said.

Dennis Racine said his wife’s solicitation for murder may be a catalyst for finally securing her some help for her disease.


To contact Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@ theunion. com or call 477-4236.

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