Michelle Paet, who was accused of plotting the murder of her husband, pleaded guilty in court Oct. 1 to conspiracy to murder and first-degree murder charges.
The 33-year-old Las Vegas resident arranged the shooting of 28-year-old Nathan Paet, a member of the armed forces and an Iraq war veteran, Daily Mail reported.
Michael Rodriguez, with whom Michelle Paet had been having a sexual relationship at the time of the killing on Dec. 1, 2010, participated in the shooting.
Rodriguez was found guilty of first degree murder by a jury on Sept. 25 and will face a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He agreed not to launch an appeal in exchange for avoiding the death penalty.
At her court appearance, Michelle expressed her remorse to Nathan's relatives.
“"I'm sorry," she said, according to the Associated Press. "I love you guys. I love my kids."
Carmenita Paet, Nathan’s mother, accepted the apology but added it could not change the fact that Michelle committed the crime.
Michelle’s guilty plea means she will avoid the death penalty.
“We did not want that because Guam doesn’t have it,” said Carmenita, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. “It’s never been an option back home, so we’re not used to that idea. And honestly right now, I feel that killing another person would not bring my son back. It’s not going to do anybody any good. It just breaks my heart, really to think of killing another person. It doesn’t matter what they’ve done. I can’t handle that idea.”
During Rodriguez’s trial, the jury heard how Nathan’s murder was planned months in advance. Michelle expected to gain a $400,000 payout from the military in the event of her husband’s death, and she took out another life insurance policy worth $250,000.
On the day of Nathan's murder, Michelle informed Rodriguez that her husband was leaving for work.
“He's rushing to get out the door. Lol,” a text message she sent to Rodriguez read, Daily Mail reported.
Rodriguez drove to the Paets’ home in a black Cadillac, accompanied by the alleged gunman, Corry Hawkins, prosecutors claim.
Nathan was shot five times. He stumbled back into his home and collapsed in front of his wife and children.
He died later in the hospital.
Hawkins is due to go on trial separately. A fourth defendant, Jessica Ashley, faces a charge of accessory to murder for her part in the killing.