|Woman Found Guilty of Conspiring to Kill Husband|
|By ERIC M. STRAUSS (@ericmstrauss) and ANTHONY CASTELLANO (@AntCastellano)||Nov 27, 2013, 3:50 AM|
A jury found a Las Vegas woman guilty of conspiring with her brother and son to kill her estranged husband for $250,000 in insurance money.
Amy Bessey, 43, was found guilty Tuesday of all seven charges against her, including attempted murder, solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy in the November 2012 shooting that wounded Robert Bessey. Amy Bessey faces up to 91 years in prison. She is set to be sentenced March 5, 2014.
"We're somewhat surprised by the verdict. There are some appealable issues. I told Amy to stay strong," defense attorney Blaine Beckstead told ABC News.
Bessey took the stand earlier this week and told jurors that she never asked anyone to kill her husband, who she described as a violent man.
When Beckstead was asked about having his client testify, he said: "It was the right decision, but she didn't really knock it out of the park. But we didn't have a choice."
Prosecution declined to comment about the case after the verdict was read.
Robert Bessey was shot in the neck shortly before his divorce to Amy was to be finalized and before he was able to change the beneficiary of the $250,000 life insurance policy. Prosecutors said Amy Bessey enlisted the help of her son, Michael Bessey, 22, and her brother, Richard Pearson, to kill her husband as he drove south on Interstate 15 near Las Vegas on Nov. 14, 2012.
Richard Pearson and Michael Bessey face trial Feb. 24 on similar charges. Pearson and Bessey have pleaded not guilty.
Bessey took the stand Monday and told jurors that she never asked anyone to kill her husband, but did say out loud that she wished he was dead.
"I was fed up. I just wanted it to be done. I just said it. I wish he was dead," Bessey testified.
The couple had been married for 18 years and had three kids together. Prior to their marriage, they each had two children from prior relationships. Michael Bessey is Amy's biological son, whom Robert adopted two years after they were married.
Amy Bessey described her ex-husband as a violent man and described a May 2012 confrontation on the witness stand.
"He took his fist to my face. He took his knee to my rib," Amy Bessey said, describing one of the alleged instances when she was abused. "I grabbed my purse and walked out the door."
During his testimony last week, Robert Bessey described the same fight as, "I was in bed. Amy came in. There was pushing and hitting. I pushed her. She hit me."
Bessey also testified that the gunshot that hit him in the back of the neck came from a gold SUV.
Gas station surveillance video captured Amy Bessey's brother and son not far from the scene of the shooting in a gold SUV that police say was tied to the incident.
Prosecutor Sam Martinez said Pearson sent his sister a text message hours before the alleged shooting that read, "I love it when a plan comes together."