PASADENA, Md. (AP) _ Robert Harris told police a black man shot him once and his fiancee six times, killing her, during a car robbery.

Three days later, police said Harris, who is white, made the whole thing up to deflect attention from the real mastermind of the killing _ himself.

Harris is accused of offering an acquaintance $20,000 to stage the robbery and kill Teresa McLeod.

Harris, of Pasadena, and the alleged triggerman Russell Brill, 22, of Baltimore, were arrested Monday and charged with first-degree murder and felony handgun charges. They were both jailed pending a hearing.

Authorities believe Harris' motive was financial, but they did not elaborate. He has refused to answer police questions since he became a suspect, according to investigators.

But McLeod's mother said her daughter took out a loan and gave Harris $1,600 last Friday, the day she was slain.

``I last saw her at 9:05 as they were leaving,'' said Barbara Arthur. ``She was dead by 9:30.''

After the shooting, police spent several hours canvassing the neighborhood around a Baltimore park for a black man wearing a camouflage jacket, as described by Harris.

Inconsistencies in his story, however, led investigators to suspect Harris.

``When the doctors told me he was shot in the leg, but she was killed, I knew then he must've been involved,'' Ms. Arthur said.

``She gets shot six times, (Harris gets) shot once? Do you think that's questionable?'' said homicide Detective Darryl Massey. ``It's overkill there. Overkill means personal.''

McLeod, 26, died at the scene. Harris, 23, was released from the hospital a day later.

The case bears similarities to a 1989 Boston case in which Charles Stuart claimed a black man was responsible for shooting him and killing his pregnant wife. He committed suicide hours after police learned from his brother that Stuart murdered his wife himself.