Dawn Rolfe's first appearance

Dawn Renee Rolfe, left, motions to someone sitting in the gallery at Cowlitz County Jail during her first appearance on Monday afternoon. Rolfe was arrested by Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office detectives Friday on suspicion of planning to murder her estranged husband and two other individuals.

A Kalama woman accused of plotting to kill her estranged husband, his girlfriend and his mother allegedly planned to offer “a couple hundreds dollars up front” along with more cash and jewelry to convince a hitman to kill her estranged husband, according to court records in her case.

Dawn Renee Rolfe, 54, was distraught and in tears during her first court appearance Monday after her arrest Friday. Cowlitz Superior Court Judge Patricia Fassett ordered her held without bail until at least her next hearing, scheduled for Thursday.

According to court records, Rolfe had planned to murder her mother-in-law, her estranged husband of 25 years and his new girlfriend. She sought revenge over her husband leaving her, according to records, and her husband stood to inherit property owned by his mother that the estranged couple’s pending divorce would take “away from her.”

On Aug. 24, a co-worker at Rolfe’s job reported to deputies that Rolfe told her a detailed plan to have her husband killed.

“(Rolfe) wished that she could personally shoot her husband while (telling him), ‘My face is the last thing you are going to see’ before pulling the trigger,” according to court records.

But Rolfe instead planned to have the coworker accompany her to “a shady part of Portland” after work to hire someone to kill her husband instead. She planned to offer a couple hundred dollars up front for the killing, as well as access to a safe in the house that contained money and jewelry and several of her own expensive rings.

The co-worker said Rolfe had been following and watching her estranged husband and his girlfriend from a nearby driveway while taking notes, according to court records.

Her initial plan, the co-worker reported, was to dress in a fat suit and shoot the woman at her job, but she decided against it because it would complicate the plan by requiring two shootings.

Rolfe allegedly then planned to kill the female half of the couple by placing a piece of wood across their driveway to block them from leaving, which she expected the woman would exit her vehicle in order to remove. Then, the plan went, someone hiding in the trees would shoot her.

Finally, Rolfe decided on a home invasion in which all three could be killed at once, court records say. Rolfe, who has a felony conviction from 1990 and cannot legally own a firearm, asked the co-worker to purchase a firearm for her.

After determining Rolfe’s plans were credible, deputies obtained covert recordings of conversations between Rolfe and the co-worker.

When told about a gun that had its serial numbers filed off, Rolfe said on Sept. 4: “That would be amazing. That is exactly what I’m trying to buy ... Oh my God, if you could get your hands on that.”

The co-worker, working with deputies, offered to leave the gun in her car. The co-worker tried to talk Rolfe out of the killing at that time, but she was unsuccessful, according to court records.

When asked how the killing would affect their children, Rolfe said she didn’t feel that they were very close to her estranged husband. Rolfe told the co-worker that her estranged husband had “f***** with the wrong person,” according to court records.

Friday evening, deputies watched as Rolfe entered the co-worker’s vehicle and took the handgun. They placed her under arrest as she walked back to her vehicle.

Rolfe claimed when arrested that she was just moving something for a friend, according to court records. She later admitted to deputies that she had talked about murdering the three alleged victims, but she said it “was all just fantasy and drunk talk.”

When asked why she obtained the gun, Rolfe claimed she didn’t intend to use it and was going to sell it in Portland.

“I do not believe (Rolfe’s) intense desire to see (the victims) murdered will subside, simply because she is arrested,” the deputy concluded in her arresting document. “She will continue to pose a significant threat and disregard for their lives upon her release.”

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