Couple Arrested for Plotting to Kill Mother, Police Say

Police say a woman and her husband hired a man to murder her mother to prevent her from becoming a foster parent to their children

A Northern California woman and two men were arrested on suspicion of plotting to kill her 62-year-old mother, who was beaten nearly to death inside her Southern California home, police said Monday.

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Detectives said they believe Holly Ramos, 40, and her husband hired a man to murder her mother, possibly to prevent her from becoming a foster parent to their young children.

According to detectives, the Monterey County couple sent 50-year-old Keith Phillips to the mother's Long Beach home at 69th Place and Ocean Boulevard (map) on Oct. 11.

Phillips posed as a Department of Children and Family Services employee to convince the victim to be let into the home. That's when Phillips began to attack the victim with a blunt metal object shaped like a bat and attempted to suffocate her, detectives said.

"The suspect made it clear to the victim that he was there to kill her and she would not live through the attack," Long Beach Police Department detectives said in a statement. "What the suspect did not anticipate was the victim's will to survive."

Phillips gave up his attack and returned to Monterey County, police said.

The woman was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

DNA evidence led detectives to Phillips.

After a weeks-long investigation, detectives determined that Ramos and her husband, 40-year-old Frank Haverly, had met with Phillips to plan out the would-be murder.

The suspects face attempted murder charges and were each held on $25 million bond, police said.

The victim was hospitalized for several weeks and released.

The children, ages 2 and 4, remain in foster care, police said.

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