A Texas man has been found guilty of conspiring to kill his wife, her father and her sister -- all of whom were murdered separately in 2008.
Samuel Velasco Gurrola of El Paso was found guilty on three counts of conspiracy to commit murder and three counts of conspiracy to cause foreign travel for murder for hire, reports KDBC. The jury returned the verdict after only three hours of deliberation on Oct. 17.
Two of his siblings also pleaded guilty to conspiring in the case, and face up to life terms, reports the Independent.
According to witness testimony, Velasco wanted to kill his wife, Ruth Sagredo, to prevent her from testifying against him in a 2005 sexual assault case. If found guilty for that crime, he could've faced 99 years in prison.
According to Sagredo’s first husband, Eduardro Avalos Sr., “She was very adamant about getting this person (Velasco) prosecuted and have him pay for what he did.”
So he plotted to lure her across the border to Juarez, Mexico, where he apparently figured she could be killed with impunity. The plot involved killing her father, Francisco Maria Sagredo Villareal, and then killing his wife when she went to Juarez for the funeral.
The father was duly murdered by a hitman hired by Velasco, but the plan to kill the wife fell through, according to prosecutors.
Sagredo then had his wife’s sister killed, and when his wife attended the funeral in Juarez, he put the plan into action again. This time it ended successfully with the murder of his wife during the funeral procession.
Valasco is scheduled to be sentenced in January, but his attorney informed CBS News that the verdict would be appealed.
The three homicides in question are not the only crimes for which the conspirators are linked to.
According to Vice News, Velasco and his two siblings were allegedly at the head of a drug trafficking gang which prosecutors referred to as the "Velasco Criminal Enterprise,” which is implicated in a number of “extortion and kidnapping” cases in the U.S. and Mexico between 2009 and 2013.