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Yavapai County officials on Thursday said a 28-year-old man was arranging to have his co-defendant in a 2016 murder case killed while he was in custody at the Camp Verde Detention Center.

Levi Jones faces new charges including conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit prison contraband and seven counts of tampering with a witness after officials said he plotted the death of 45-year-old Cher Loken while in custody.

Loken is Jones’ co-defendant in the case of an Oct. 10, 2016 murder at a Camp Verde Circle K store.

Jones was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, and Loken was released on bond after their arrests in that case, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said.

Sheriff’s deputies later began an investigation based on evidence that Jones was having Loken smuggle meth into the jail for him, officials said. 

YCSO detectives, along with Mesa Police Department SWAT detail, served a search warrant at Loken’s Mesa home and found evidence suggesting she was preparing to smuggle meth to Jones through U.S. mail, officials said.

That matter led to further investigation that concluded Jones was conspiring to have someone murder Loken, sheriff’s officials said.

Officials say they used interviews and the discovery of written evidence indicating Jones’ alleged plot.

Loken was arrested and booked into the Camp Verde Detention Center in June on suspicion of taking contraband into a correctional facility. 

She remains in custody on a $25,000 bond. 


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