Alisha Canales-McGuire

Mistaken identity leads to death of young newlywed after murder-for-hire killers target wrong person: Police

A newlywed was shot dead two months after her wedding, and police say her death was a case of mistaken identity.

In September 2017, 24-year-old Alisha Canales-McGuire was shot to death outside of her sister’s front door in Everett, Washington, according to KIRO 7. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said Canales-McGuire’s sister, Amanda Canales, was the intended target of a murder-for-hire plot, but the shooters mistook Alisha for her sister.

At the time, Alisha was babysitting at her sister’s home, off of the 3100 block of York Road.

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On Tuesday, authorities charged 31-year-old Kevin Lewis with solicitation to commit murder. Lewis is accused of hiring two people to kill Amanda, his ex-wife. Police say Jerradon Phelps, 20, of Tacoma, and 17-year-old Alexis Hale, of Spokane, killed the victim after accepting money from Lewis.

Both Phelps and Hale are facing charges of aggravated murder and criminal conspiracy to commit murder.

Investigators said Lewis, who’s currently serving time for assaulting his former wife, paid the pair $2,400.

Several months before the shooting, Lewis allegedly told Amanda that he wanted full custody of their children. He also said he wanted her to pay child support, and threatened to kill her if he didn’t get what he wanted, court records indicate.

In August 2017, not only did Amanda get full custody of their children, but Lewis was ordered to pay $800 per month in child support payments. Afterward, Lewis paid the suspects to get Amanda “out of the way,” according to police.

Authorities said hours after the killing, Phelps later showed off “several hundred dollar bills” on social media, while Hale reportedly bragged to acquaintances about being hired to kill someone.

Hale’s alleged bragging is what ultimately cracked the case. In 2018, police still had no firm leads when they received a tip that a witness reportedly heard Hale say she was paid by a “baby daddy” who wanted his ex killed.

When investigators questioned Phelps, he reportedly admitted he was paid $2,400 to carry out the crime, and said Hale knew of the plan and gave him a gun to use.

“Phelps explained that Hale was fully aware of the plan, and she provided the firearm used to kill Canales-McGuire,” prosecutors wrote. “According to Phelps, he paid Hale $200 for her involvement in the homicide from money that Lewis gave him. Hale also disposed of the murder weapon.”

Hale pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday during a court hearing at the Snohomish County Superior Court. A judge sent her back to the Denney Juvenile Justice Center and raised her $5,000 bond to $2 million. Based on the severity of the charges, according to HeraldNet, her case has been filed in an adult court.

All three suspects remain behind bars. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo: Alisha Canales-McGuire/Facebook]