'Pit Boss' Star Shorty Rossi Knew Jennifer Emmi For YearsBy Brian Maass

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4 – Shorty Rossi, who starred in the cable TV reality show “Pit Boss,” told CBS4 on Thursday he was shocked and “blown away” to learn that his friend and legal advisor, Jennifer Emmi, also known as Jennifer Edwards, had been jailed in Colorado for solicitation for murder. She is accused of trying to have a hit man murder her ex-husband’s girlfriend.

“I just can’t understand how she’s been charged with conspiring to commit murder,” said Rossi, who starred in Pit Boss from 2010 through 2013. The series was about rescuing and rehabilitating pit bulls.

READ MORE: Animal Rights Lawyer Jennifer Emmi Jailed in ‘Murder For Hire’ Plot

Shorty Rossi (credit: Facebook)

Rossi said he has known Jennifer, an animal rights advocate and attorney, for about a decade, often consulting with her for legal advice and coming to Colorado to hold an event at her ranch, which is located in Evergreen. He said when he heard about Jennifer’s arrest this week he was dumbfounded.

“She’s a caring person,” said Rossi. “I’ve never seen her angry. She always had the same temperament.”

But in a 33-page arrest affidavit obtained by CBS4, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators recount how Emmi asked a man who worked at her ranch to “take care” of her husband’s girlfriend. Emmi and her husband had been going through a bitter divorce and she was angry that her estranged husband had entered into a relationship with the au pair who had cared for the couple’s children.

The ranch hand told authorities he and Emmi had discussed how much a “hit” might cost and she said the money would not be a problem.

Jennifer Emmi

Jennifer Emmi (credit: Jefferson County)

Emmi is being held on a charge of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder along with a slew of other charges. Bond has been set at $3 million.

Rossi said he didn’t know if Emmi was guilty or not but, “If she’s guilty, she cracked and lost her mind. A lot of us still support her and we’re all in shock this is happening right now. I’m going to stand up for what she has done for animals, that won’t change,” said Rossi. “She’s done a lot for the animal community in the United States.”

He urged the public to withhold judgment until all the facts are in. In the meantime, Rossi said his opinion of Emmi’s character has not changed.

(credit: CBS)

“Put it this way, if they need a character witness in court, they’ve got one.”

Edwards is due in court for a preliminary hearing later this month.

Brian Maass