MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) – A Merrill woman has been convicted of trying to hire someone to kill her boyfriend.
Jessica Strom, 33, was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree intentional homicide, after investigators say she offered money and sex to a man to kill her boyfriend.
In a deal with prosecutors Friday in Marathon County court, Strom pleaded no contest and the charge was amended to solicitation of first-degree intentional homicide. That carries a maximum sentence of up to 12 and a half years in prison. The original charge carried a weight of up to 60 years in prison.
"It fit the facts of this case quite well I thought. Additionally, what it did for the defendant is it reduced the total exposure from 60 years in prison to twelve and a half years in prison. I think that would be a sufficient amount of time to give us an appropriate sentence,” said special prosecutor Ralph Uttke.
The deal means Strom will avoid a trial.
"I first talked with the victim in this case and told him what I thought would be an appropriate way to resolve this case and he agreed that it would be an appropriate way to do so. So, then I wrote a letter to Mr. Runyon and made an initial offer that was a little bit different than this one,” said Uttke. “We negotiated which is what lawyers do and we came to this agreement.”
Strom's defense attorney did not want to comment until sentencing.