Worth More Dead
The foster couple’s marriage was on shaky ground when they accepted a teenage foster girl. They’d had other foster children—the wife was a social worker for the county where they lived.
According to court documents, the foster father and teenage foster daughter became intimate four months before the teen murdered her foster mother.
During the period of intimacy, the husband told his foster daughter and lover that he feared if he divorced his wife, he’d lose custody of their 13-year-old daughter. He told the girl he needed her to kill his wife, and he showed her which knife to use and where to stab the 41-year-old woman based on her sleeping position. He gave her detailed instructions.
He also told the foster daughter that his wife was worth more dead than alive and after she killed her, he’d get the house and $750,000 from a life insurance policy, he cried and told the girl he couldn’t take anymore—he was going to kill himself if his wife isn’t dead. He conveniently was out-of-town working when the murder occurred—he was a trucker.
One of the woman’s daughters tried to intervene when the foster child was stabbing her mother—she called 911.
Responding authorities found the 17-year-old foster daughter with a bloody 10-inch serrated knife in her hand.
The foster daughter pleaded guilty to aggravated murder. Even though the husband had instructed the teenager to claim memory loss if she got caught, instead she told the truth. A judge sentenced her to life in prison with the possibility of parole.
The sentencing judge said,
“I don’t think there was any question she was manipulated and used by the co-defendant.”
After a nine-day trial, a jury found the husband guilty on all charges. A judge sentenced him to life in prison and register as a Tier III sex offender.
Tier III requires registration as a sex offender for life. If you are convicted of a Tier III crime, you are not eligible to petition the court for removal from the sex offender registry.
Tier III encompasses allegedly more serious sex offenses. These include but are not limited to: felony possession of child pornography (Penal Code 311.11), pimping and pandering of a minor (Penal Code 266h), and many cases of rape (Penal Code 261).
Source: United States District Court, Cleveland.com, The Columbus Dispatch, TheCinemaholic, Law Office of Seth P. Chazin