New Jersey native accused in murder-for-hire plot

July 9, 2013 4:54:02 AM PDT
Police say a New Jersey native was caught on camera and caught up in a murder-for-hire plot.

She apparently told an undercover cop that death is easier than divorce and she wanted her husband dead.

The 21-year-old mother was busted in Michigan, and told the supposed hit man she'd pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill her husband.

The couple had moved there from Keyport in New Jersey's Monmouth County.

"Do you want me to shoot him?" the undercover officer asked.

"Unless you can do it painlessly breaking his neck," said Julia Merfeld, accused of hiring a hit on her husband.

Investigators say 21-year-old Julia Merfeld didn't just wish her husband was dead, she put together a plan to murder him.

"How do you want it done?" the undercover officer asked.

"lf it looked like robbery, shot?" Merfeld said.

"Yeah, we were talking like insulin," the officer said.

"How about a break in?" Merfeld asked.

Merfeld is from New Jersey but lived in Michigan with her husband and their two children.

Investigators say she told an acquaintance that she wanted to kill him. That man believed every word 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.

So police set up a videotaped meeting with an undercover cop who they say the suspect believed was a hit man.

"Carlos told you how much right?" the officer said.

"He mentioned $50. Is that right?" Merfeld asked.

"Uh huh," the officer said.

Investigators say Merfeld agreed to use $50,000 from a $300,000 life insurance policy to fund the hit on her husband.

No one answered the door at her family's Keyport home.

Neighbors were sad and sickened by this video.

"It's crazy. It's just a sick world, to get a little bit of money, get a divorce," said Jose Mateo, a neighbor.

"It's horrible. She's a child. It's crazy. That's not the way out," said Angela Mateo, a neighbor.

As for a motive: "When I first decided to do this it wasn't that we weren't getting along its just, well as terrible as this sounds, easier than divorcing him. I didn't have to worry about the judgment of my family or breaking his heart. It's a clean getaway," Merfeld said.