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Husband asks for leniency for wife seen on video plotting to have him killed

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MUSKEGON, Mich. (FOX17)  — A 21-year-old woman caught on video plotting to have her husband killed was sentenced from nearly six years to 20 years in prison Tuesday, after her husband asked the court for leniency.

It was video footage that got international attention: a woman caught on camera trying to hire a hit man to kill her husband so she could cash in on his life insurance policy.

Tuesday in court, Julia Merfeld, 21, of Muskegon, Mich., showed a very different side while facing a judge.

Her husband, Jake Merfeld, spoke for the first time at his wife’s sentencing and shocked some when he asked for a lighter sentence.

“I wholeheartedly forgive my wife for all she has done in this act of hatred,” Jake Merfeld told the judge.  “I know that my wife is a wonderful person.”

In the video with the undercover officer Merfeld explains why she wants her husband dead.

“When I first decided to do this, it`s not that we weren`t getting along but I was just, as terrible as it sounds, It was easier to do than divorcing him,” she says. “I didn’t have to worry about the judgment of my family. I didn’t have to worry about breaking his heart.”

Jake Merfeld pleaded with the judge, saying the two children need their mother.

“She is a Godly woman even so much more so now than she ever has been,” he said before the judge.

During one of two undercover meetings, Julia lays out the house, showing the man she thinks is a hit man exactly where to find her husband.  She does offer an alternative to killing him inside the house by bringing him outside to do chores.

“I can always have him clean out my car, my van’s a mess,” Julia said, laughing.

As Jake Merfeld asked the court to have mercy on his wife, Julia made a plea as well.

“Honestly, it could have been worse, the crime I attempted could have been carried out and that alone, honestly, is the worst punishment anyone should ever have to endure,” she said.

In the videos the undercover cop tells Julia how he plans to kill her husband.

“I`m going to put a couple rounds right in his noggin so there`s no accident,” he explained to her.  “No way he’s going to live, he`s going to die.”

Julia Merfeld smiled on the video.

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