- Associated Press - Friday, May 26, 2017

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - A 29-year-old northwestern Montana woman suspected of ordering a man’s murder has been sentenced to prison for dealing drugs.

Melisa Ann Crone was sentenced Thursday to 40 years with 20 years suspended. She earlier pleaded guilty to criminal distribution of dangerous drugs.

Crone was initially charged with accountability to deliberate homicide in the May 2016 stabbing death of 35-year-old Wade Rautio.

During Robert Wittal’s homicide trial, witnesses testified that Crone approved of Wittal’s plan to assault Rautio and let Wittal know when she was going to kick him out of her house east of Kalispell. Wittal is serving a 110-year prison term for taking Wittal to a rural area and killing him.

Crone insisted that she had no control over what happened to Rautio after she kicked him out.

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