An Alabama grandmother is facing prison time after allegedly trying to hire a hitman to slay the mother of her grandson.
Sandra Hill Treadway, 54, of Town Creek, is accused of paying undercover agents $1,500 to kill the woman, who is locked in a custody battle with Treadway’s son, said Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell.
The bust saw the target fake her own death and revealed the desperate measures the grandma was allegedly willing to take to stop her son’s ex from gaining custody.
“Grandmothers get real protective of their grand-babies, and things weren’t going the best of all to start with,” Mitchell told The Daily Beast. “She wanted her dead.”
Authorities learned Treadway was allegedly seeking a hired gun during a drug investigation sometime last month. It wasn’t revealed, however, how Treadway’s plans came to light or whether she was linked to the drug probe.
Police say Treadway wanted to rub out her son’s ex-girlfriend—who previously faced child abuse charges, records show—because she was trying to get custody of the boy.
“When we picked up that she was interested in making a hit, everything [in the investigation] shifted to her,” Mitchell said. “When somebody’s got that on their mind, you have to move quick.”
The spunky grandma, who is charged with criminal solicitation, did not return messages left by The Daily Beast.
She faces 10 years to life in prison with parole if convicted, the Times Daily reported.
She has been released from jail on $35,000 bond.
Her grandson, who appears to be about 4 years old, was living at her residence before the arrest. Child welfare authorities have removed the boy from the home, Mitchell said.
The operation began in mid-October, soon after police cottoned on to Treadway’s alleged murder plot
During a first meeting with undercover officers, the matriarch allegedly solicited an investigator to do the deed. She provided photos of her target, as well as the woman’s home address and vehicle tag number.
The grandmother told the undercover agents the mother of her grandson was in the area every Tuesday for supervised visitation, authorities say.
She then presented a partial payment to the fake hitman and said the rest of the money would be paid after the woman was dead.
Agents monitored Treadway and the unsuspecting mother during the next supervised visit. Afterward, they found the woman and informed her of Treadway’s alleged plans.
The mother, who has not been identified by police, agreed to help cops in staging her own death so Treadway could complete her contract with the phony assassin.
Mitchell said police doused the woman with fake blood, then snapped a photo of the sham murder scene. They texted the image to Treadway.
Once the grandmother received her “proof” of the takedown, she met an undercover cop for the final payment, police say.
Treadway was arrested as she arrived home after the payoff.
Authorities searching her residence on a search warrant obtained several laptops, cash, and a handgun that was inside her vehicle during the undercover payout.
Treadway’s son, Matthew, 31, declined to comment on the charges against his mom but identified his ex as Lyndsey Grindol, 27, an EMT in Athens, Alabama. Grindol did not return messages left by The Daily Beast.
On Facebook, Grindol posted several photos of herself in her EMT uniform and of her son and an another daughter dressed in firefighter gear or playing with toys.
The happy images are at odds with charges of child abuse.
Grindol was scheduled to face trial in January 2014 for allegedly breaking her daughter’s arm, the Times Daily reported.
Florence police said Grindol’s daughter was 19 months old at the time of the alleged abuse. Cops launched a two-year investigation into the mom after being tipped off by the Lauderdale County Department of Human Resources.
A Decatur doctor discovered the toddler’s injuries when Grindol took her in for an exam. The girl had bruises on her face and a broken arm, cops say.
At the time, Grindol denied the allegations. It’s unclear if she was ever convicted.
Two years ago, Matthew Treadway, who is also an area EMT, took to social media to blast Grindol’s alleged criminal conduct.
In a Pinterest post, he wrote, “Please pin this, and get the word out on this woman, and all abusive mothers. The ones who are supposed to protect.
“Lyndsey Grindol was a Firefighter, Security Guard, and still currently holds an EMT license in Alabama. She is supposed to protect, not harm,” he added.
For her part, Sandra Treadway has shown a devotion to her grandson online.
In 2013, she asked friends to vote in a photo contest for an adorable image of the towheaded boy on an ATV.
In June, she took to social media to insist that her other son, Caleb, had nothing to do with a local shooting. U.S. Marshals had arrested a man of the same name.
“When y’all hear the news,it was NOT my Caleb Treadway!!!!! Mine knows better!!! Mine had rather stay in jail as to face me after something like that!!”
Her most recent Facebook posts include an image in support of the Confederate flag and a link to a YouTube montage of photos of Donald Trump set to the strains of Toby Keith’s “Love Me if You Can.”
Friends were shocked at the allegations against the grandma, who once quipped on a classifieds group: “Absolutely FREE rescue dog! .... Come get him tonight. I will help you load him. He is not aggressive, but I am.”
Ronnie Treadway, her ex brother-in-law, told The Daily Beast he was “very stunned” by the news of her arrest.
Still, he said he remembers seeing her and her son Matthew post on social media about the custody problems in the past.
“She was a lot better person than I would have thought would pull something like that,” Treadway said. “She seemed like a decent person. It’s a shock, no doubt.”