Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico today announced the arrest of Christopher Gessner, 50, on one count of Criminal Solicitation to Commit Murder, by the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office's Criminal Investigation Division, for soliciting two individuals to kill a woman who was the ex-girlfriend of Gessner. The woman is the alleged victim of Gessner in a case of attempted murder and arson. Pennsylvania State Police/Lykens charged Gessner in 2011 with setting a trailer on fire and injuring the woman and killing her dogs. That case is currently pending trial.
In the current case, Gessner contacted two inmates and offered them payments in exchange for killing the woman. Once out of prison, one inmate worked with Dauphin County CID. He exchanged letters with Gessner formulating a plan to kill the woman. He received $500 from Gessner as a down payment. The inmate later met with Gessner at DCP and showed him a photograph in which the woman appeared to be dead. The woman had posed for the picture. Further payment was to be made when Gessner received a death certificate. When questioned by detectives about the alleged murder for hire plot, Gessner admitted his involvement as outlined in the probable cause affidavit charging him.
Gessner was arraigned yesterday before Magisterial District Judge Michael Smith, who set bail at $100,000. Gessner is presumed innocent as the charges against him are mere allegations.
Marsico credited the inmates for informing authorities about the plot and detectives for their work in building the case.