MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — One month after a Garden City woman was found guilty of plotting to kill her husband, a judge handed down her sentence.
Susan Williams, 44, was sentenced to the maximum Friday – 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison for paying an undercover police officer to have her husband Peter killed. The couple was going through a bitter divorce at the time of the ordered hit, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Williams offered $20,000 to the undercover officer — a transaction that was caught on tape. They say she paid $500 as a down payment. She was hoping to collect on her husband’s $1 million life insurance policy.
The mother of four was kept handcuffed during the entire proceeding and teared up as her attorney read aloud letters from her four children, CBS 2′s Jay Dow reported.
She sobbed before the sentence was announced, apologized to her parents and her children, but she showed no remorse when it came to her husband, 1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reported. The judge called her cold and calculated, and reprimanded Williams for failing to show remorse, Rivera reported.
“She has not expressed remorse for her conduct. The defendant completed each and every step necessary to arrange her husband’s death,” Judge Norman St. George said. “She wanted a divorce by murder.”
Williams’ attorney argued his client – diagnosed with cancer – was in emotional turmoil at the time, and was essentially set up by police.
“Susan Williams is incredibly remorseful,” defense attorney John Carman said. “The problem is the system, the way it functioned in her case, gave her no opportunity to demonstrate that.”
During Williams’ trial, her husband Peter testified that his “perfect marriage” crumbled when he learned Susan had slept with her boss and — years earlier — with his brother.
Williams also testified he wanted to sell the Garden City house, split everything 50-50 and divorce amicably.
But he said Susan refused, telling him, “Wait and see what I do to you.”
Prosecutor Anne Donnelly told jurors Susan Williams wanted to destroy her husband.
Williams addressed the court after her sentencing. “I spent my life trying to be a great mother and trying to improve my children’s lives. I tried to explain to myself how I got here today. I can’t,” she said.
Now her four children will be raised without one.