KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Knoxville woman who has been accused of hiring a hitman for the wife of an Alabama man she met online pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Melody Sasser. (Photo courtesy of Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, Ky.)

Melody Sasser was arraigned in federal court Wednesday, June 21. She is currently being held in Laurel County, Ky.

According to court documents, investigators claim payment of around $10,000 in Bitcoin went to a dark-web hosted site, “Online Killers Market” on Jan. 11. Prosecutors believe the intended target was the wife.

The victim told authorities that her husband and Sasser were hiking buddies in Knoxville before he moved out of state. Sasser allegedly traveled to his residence unannounced in 2022 after he told Sasser that he was engaged.

Federal prosecutors claim Sasser provided photographs and the victim’s location to facilitate the crime. The court documents reference an alleged payment of $10,000 in Bitcoin made to the site administrators for hiring a hitman.

In the documents, Sasser agreed to not push for release but reserved the chance to do so later. She will stay in custody during the trial, which is scheduled to start on Aug. 15.

Sasser was arrested on May 18 and indicted on June 7. If convicted, Sasser will face a maximum term of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, restitution and a maximum three-year term of supervised release.