Jacksonville police: Local mother unintended target in murder-for-hire plot

Alleged murder-for-hire arrest in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says a double shooting that left a woman dead in a Northside home in February 2018 started with murder-for-hire plot.

Dustine Westfall, 33, faces murder and attempted murder charges in connection to the 2018 shooting death. He was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

He’s accused of paying Justin Williamson to shoot and kill a man in a home on East Pine Estates road.

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The intended victim, a local father, survived after being shot in the chest, neck and head. Williamson was arrested a few weeks after the shooting.

Instead, Jennifer Embree, a local mother, was shot and killed.

Neighbors are happy to know the suspect is off the street.

“I’m excited that justice is going to be served,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified. “And that finally the detectives are doing their job in the community to find these killers.”

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Police believe the shooting stemmed from a fight over drugs.

“Violence in the community must stop. I mean, we just have to take accountability for our own home, our families, our children, the grown children, especially,” said the neighbor.

According to JSO records, Westfall was already in custody after being arrested in March of this year on drug trafficking and possession charges. He was sentenced in September to 25 years in prison, and a mandatory minimum of 15 years.

Westfall will be in court again on Nov. 6.