Woman guilty of hiring hit squad to kill infant

Published May 8, 2007

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - A woman was convicted Monday of hiring a hit squad to murder her lover's baby daughter, ending a trial that had dominated headlines for months with details of South Africa's first known contract killing of an infant.

Dina Rodrigues was found guilty of murder for orchestrating the June 2005 killing of 6-month-old Jordan-Leigh Norton - her then-boyfriend's child from a previous relationship.

Cheers erupted as the verdict was read in the packed Cape Town courtroom.

"We are glad for the decision, " the baby's grandfather, Vernon Norton, told the South African Press Association, adding that the family hoped Rodrigues would be sentenced to life in prison at the next hearing in June.

High Court Judge Basheer Waglay also convicted four men hired by Rodrigues for a total of $1, 500 to commit the crime.