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A 21-year-old married mother-of-two could spend 20 years in prison after she admitted hiring a hit man to kill her husband because she didn’t want to divorce him.
Julia Merfeld, 21, from Michigan, was sentenced to spend at least five years and eight months but no more than 20 years in prison after pleading guilty for 4 years ago in June 2013 to solicitation of murder.
Her husband Jacob Merfeld was in court and said he has forgiven his wife and she is a good person.
She was caught after she was recorded telling an undercover cop who was posing as a hit man that killing him would be easier than divorcing him.
Merfeld said she and her husband had been fighting, and that she had been thinking about having him killed for a while because if he was dead, she wouldn’t have to worry about her family’s judgment or ‘breaking his heart’.
Two videos made in April 2013 were released to The Muskegon Chronicle by prosecutors.
The 21-year-old woman pleaded guilty on June 27 2013 4 years ago to soliciting a murder.
Authorities say she wanted her husband’s $400,000 life insurance policy, and promised to pay the would-be hit man $50,000 for the killing in several $9,000 installments.
During sentencing today Merfeld asked for a lighter sentence.
‘I do not believe I’m above punishment. I know what i did was wrong and I take full responsibility,’ she said. ‘My tears are for remorse not pity.’
Jacob Merfeld said he did not want his wife to do any prison time and that she was a godly woman who did an ungodly thing.
‘I wholeheartedly forgive my wife,’ he said. ‘She has been nothing but a great mother to our two children.’
Police became aware of Mrs Merfeld’s plot to have her husband killed when they were tipped off by her co-worker, Carlos Ramos.
According to Ramos, the 21-year-old woman offered him $50,000 for the hit, but he called police and helped set up a meeting between Merfeld and an undercover detective posing as a prospective assassin.
The woman and the man she thought to be a gun-for-hire met on April 9 and 10 2013 in his car. Unbeknownst to Merfeld, both meetings were recorded on a hidden camera.