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Keyport Woman Admits Murder-For-Hire Plot In Michigan [VIDEO]

A Keyport woman who thought it would be easier to have her husband killed rather than go through a divorce has pleaded guilty to murder solicitation charges in Michigan.

Screen shot of Julia Merfeld's meeting with an undercover "hitman"
Screen shot of Julia Merfeld’s meeting with an undercover “hitman” (MLive)

Julia Merfeld, 21 moved to Michigan with her husband Jacob because of a job transfer according to the news website Their children remained in New Jersey with relatives.

Merfeld had her eye on her his $400,000 life insurance policy wanted to end their marriage and sought a hitman to do the job.  “When I first decided to do this … it’s not that we weren’t getting along,” she says on the video. “But … terrible as it sounds, it was easier than divorcing him.”

She reasoned that his death would relieve her of the “judgment of my family,’ she wouldn’t have to worry about “breaking his heart” and she could make a “clean getaway” to a new life.

The meetings with the undercover cop came after she told a co-worker in April she wanted to kill Jacob. He believed her to be serious and called police.

“If I would have talked her out of it, she could have said, ‘You know what, I am not going to!’ And then she still could have done it anyway. And I would still have to live with that,” said Carlos Ramos, Merfeld’s coworker.

Muskegon County Sheriff’s Detective Brent Sowles told the court during her trial that the meetings took place near a mall.  “This solicitation took place with an undercover police officer that actually included conversations as to the processes as to how the murder would occur when the money transaction took place,” Sowles told Muskegon County District Court Magistrate John Wiewiora according to

Julia told the “hitman” during meetings that were secretly videotaped that she would pay him $50,000 from the policy for the job. At first she wanted him to be killed “painlessly” by breaking his neck but she and the hitman agreed on a plan to make it look like a robbery.

Julia pleaded guilty to solicitation to murder charges on June 27. Her husband asked the judge not to give her any jail time. The judge instead capped her minimum sentence at six years; her sentencing is scheduled for July 30.

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