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  1. #1
    Tyrael's Avatar
    Tyrael is offline Style & coordination Administration
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    Wife convicted of plotting plumber's murder for life insurance payout, faces death pe

    Wife convicted of plotting plumber's murder for life insurance payout, faces death penalty

    By Bo Rosser
    Court TV


    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Jurors have convicted a Florida woman of conspiring to murder her plumber husband so she could collect $500,000 in life insurance.

    After deliberating for about 20 hours over two days, the panel found Karen Tobie, 41, guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the June 30, 2004, death of her husband, John Cataneo.

    Tobie now faces a possible death sentence. The penalty phase of her trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday.

    When the verdict was read, Tobie held her hand to her mouth, but showed little emotion. After the proceedings, her father Hal Tobie spoke to reporters.

    "There's a good Karen," he said. "That Karen is a socially responsible person."

    The jury also convicted the hit man — plumber's assistant Tysjohaun Cooper — of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit murder. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

    The 26-year-old appeared much more devastated by the outcome. He dropped his head to the desk and hid his face in his hands when the verdict was read. Cooper's father cried in the gallery, surrounded by other family members.

    During the week-long trial, Cooper testified that he was working two jobs to earn enough money to enroll in truck-driving school. He wanted to follow in his father's footsteps and become a truck driver, he testified.

    "We believe [Cooper] did not get a fair trial because he was denied his right to be tried separately," defense attorney Tom Mott said.

    Assistant state attorney Ed Davis said he would not comment on the case until after the penalty phase.

    Prosecutors built their case around the testimony of a confessed co-conspirator. Lynn Blake, who looked after Tobie and Cataneo's young son, told police that she and the two defendants plotted to murder Cataneo to keep him from relocating with the couple's son.

    Blake told jurors that Tobie paid Cooper $2,700 for the gun in a mall parking lot. After, Blake and Tobie tested the weapon, but it did not fire properly. Eventually, Tobie offered to pay Cooper thousands out of her expected insurance settlement if he would pull the trigger himself.

    The murder plot was hatched out of fear that the plumber was planning to divorce Tobie and move closer to his extended family, according to testimony.

    After meeting with police, Blake hid a recording device in her bra in an effort to further incriminate Tobie. In the recording, Tobie is overheard telling Blake to "just play dumb," and warning that "this will be our downfall."

    Blake, 58, agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

    Both defense teams rejected Blake's account and condemned her as the real murderer.

    In addition, Tobie's defense attorney, Michael Nielsen, told jurors she was simply too much of an alcoholic to have masterminded the murder. According to the defendant's mother, she would drink from morning till night every day.

    "She was a raging drunk," defense attorney Michael Nielsen said Wednesday. "[She] was not mentally capable to form the intent to kill."

    The penalty phase will be shown on Court TV Extra.
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  2. #2
    Rebadow's Avatar
    Rebadow is offline Title? Titel!
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    Re: Wife convicted of plotting plumber's murder for life insurance payout, faces deat

    Preposterous. She'll never get the death penalty. Not even close.
    S E R V I C E W I T H A S M I L E


 

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