Julia Merfeld, a 21-year-old Michigan woman, is set to be sentenced on July 30 after pleading guilty in June to soliciting the murder of her husband, Jacob.
Recorded footage of Julia Merfeld soliciting an undercover cop posing as a hit man has surfaced on the Internet and has shocked viewers for how calm, cool and collected she is while planning the murder.
“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.
"You know, I didn’t have to worry about the judgment of my family, I didn’t have to worry about breaking his heart, all that stuff like this. It’s, like, how I [could have] a clean getaway.”
Furthermore, Merfeld told the fake hit man he’d be paid $50,000 out of the 27-year-old husband’s $400,000 life insurance policy that she would receive in the case of his death. She said she would pay him in a series of weekly $9,000 installments to avoid suspicion from her bank.
Suspicions of Merfeld's intention to carry out the plans were first raised after she told coworker Carlos Ramos she wanted her husband killed. Ramos originally thought she was joking and hoped the topic would never come up again, he told local ABC affiliate WZZM 13. But when she continued to talk about the plan in more detail, Ramos made the decision to go to the police, who set up the sting with the fake hit man.
Merfeld and the undercover Michigan State Police detective met two times – first to discuss the murder plot and once more so that she could show him directions to her house, a map of the outside, a floor plan and a photograph of her husband.
While Merfeld will reportedly be sentenced to a minimum of six years, her husband and intended victim asked that she get no jail time at all, the sentencing judge said in court at the time of her guilty plea.
Instead, Chief Muskegon County Circuit Judge William C. Marietti set her minimum sentence at six years. The maximum can be anything up to life in prison, depending on Marietti’s decision at Merfeld's sentencing July 30.
The Crestwood Court Mall will soon be shuttering its doors for good. The 55-year-old mall, the oldest in St. Louis County, now has a sign on the door telling patrons that it will be closed for good on Thursday. Lens Crafters is the only store that will remain open. They have a separate entrance to the mall. Centrum Partners is the Chicago-based developer that owns Crestwood Court. Last year they proposed a $100-million plan to convert the area into an entertainment district, but the city Crestwood says the asking price of $34 million in tax increment financing is too steep a price.
A nine-year-old boy continues to fight for his life after being shot in the head overnight.
St. Louis Police say the child was riding in a car with his father and two other men, an 18-year-old and a 22-year-old. They were travelling on Goodfellow near Lillian Avenue around 3:30am Wednesday when the boy was hit.
They took the child to a nearby police station for help where he was rushed to St. Louis Children's Hospital. Police tell KTRS news no one else was hurt.
Goodfellow was closed Wednesday morning between Lillian and Sherry Avenues while police investigated.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Panera Bread's latest pay-what-you-can experiment will be retooled and brought back next winter as a seasonal offering.
The Meal of Shared Responsibility was pulled Wednesday.
Since March, Panera had offered a single menu item, Turkey Chili in a Bread Bowl, at its 48 St. Louis-area restaurants.
Customers set their own price.
The idea was that the needy could get a nutritious meal for whatever they could pay; those paying above cost make up the difference.
Panera founder Ron Shaich told The Associated Press that too few needy people were participating, in part because most Panera locations are in middle-class and affluent areas.
And after initial publicity and marketing, awareness dropped off.
Shaich believes a better plan is to offer the program for short periods, when in-store marketing can remain focused.