Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Watch: Wife Hires ‘Hitman’ to Kill Husband

Julia Charlene Merfeld, 20, of Muskegon, Michigan, thought she was talking to a hitman about killing her husband, Jake, 27, but was really talking to an undercover cop, who was recording the whole conversation, including her motive: Murder is easier than divorce.

About 5 minutes and 19 seconds into the conversation that was recorded in April 2013, Merfeld explains her reasons for wanting her husband dead, “When I first decided to do this, like we, it’s not that we weren’t getting along, but I mean I was just, it was easier, um as terrible as it sounds, it was easier than divorcing him. You know, I didn’t have to worry about the judgment of my family, I didn’t have to worry about breaking his heart, all that stuff. Like, this is like kind of like a clean getaway.”

She planned to collect on her husband’s $400,000 life insurance policy, and pay $50,000 for the hit.

Merfeld pleaded guilty to soliciting a murder in June and is set to face sentencing on July 30.

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