A Michigan woman has pleaded guilty to attempted murder for allegedly trying to order a hit on her husband, police said.
Julia Merfeld, 21, of Muskegon County, Mich., a mother of two, was arrested and charged with a felony for soliciting murder. She allegedly met twice this spring with an undercover police officer posing as a hit man.
“She had approached a co-worker about the hit idea and that co-worker felt it serious enough and contacted law enforcement,” D.J. Hilson, a Muskegon County prosecutor, told ABC News in a report that aired Tuesday.
The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Department says she has pleaded guilty but didn’t know exactly when she was charged. The prosecutor’s office hasn’t returned ABCNews.com’s requests for clarification.
Both meetings with the undercover officer were caught on tape, police said.
“As you watch both encounters, the first encounter and second encounter, like I said she’s very calm, she laughs quite a bit, chuckles quite a bit, really, at things like whether there’s an open casket or a closed casket,” Hilson said.
Merfeld allegedly asked the undercover officer to make the slaying look like a robbery, giving him a key to her home. But she allegedly wanted the killing to take place somewhere else, according to the videotaped meeting.
“So you don’t want it done in the house then?” the undercover officer asked.
“‘Cause it would be messy in the house,” Merfeld explained.
She allegedly suggested how the man should kill her husband.
“You want me to shoot him?” the undercover officer asked in the video.
“Unless you can do it painlessly, you know, breaking his neck,” Merfeld replied.
Merfeld allegedly told the undercover officer that killing her husband was her easiest option.
“It’s not that we weren’t getting along, but, it was easier than, as terrible as it sounds, it was easier than divorcing him,” she told the undercover officer.
“You know, I didn’t have to worry about the judgment in my family, I didn’t have to worry about breaking his heart,” she continued.
Police said they believe Merfeld was after her husband’s life insurance money, from which she also planned to pay for her husband’s killing.
“The way she described why she wanted it done is that it was too embarrassing for her to be divorced, the true motive was probably greed for the money,” Hilson said.
Merfeld is now in Muskegon County Jail, according to Sheriff Dean Roesler. She faces six or more years in prison.
“She had every opportunity to call it off,” Hilson said.
Merfeld’s husband, Jacob Merfeld, could not be reached for comment, but he has said he does want his wife to get jail time.
The sheriff did not know whether Merfeld had an attorney.