A Las Vegas woman in prison for plotting to murder her ex-husband said she never wanted him dead.
"I wouldn't want harm to come to him. He's the father of my children," Amy Bessey told ABC News' "20/20" from jail in her only interview. "I never asked for or caused bodily harm to Robert Bessey."
Bessey said that if she really wanted him dead, she could have shot him in self-defense countless times before.
"For over 15 years, I slept with a shotgun at the end of my bed ... with Robert beating the crap out of me the day before, the night before, and turning over and going to sleep," she said.
"I know the laws that would've been a right to shoot," she said. "There ... wouldn't be anybody in the world that would convict me ... of anything if I ever retaliated that way."
Earlier this month, Bessey was sentenced to 14 to 44 years for conspiring with her son and her brother in a botched plot to kill her then-estranged husband.
Tune in for the full story on ABC News' "20/20" on Friday, March 28 at 10 p.m. ET.
On Nov. 14, 2012, Robert Bessey was shot in the neck while driving to work on Interstate 15.
"In the corner of my eye, I could see that my rear window was blown out," Robert Bessey told "20/20" in his only interview. "At that point, I feel some blood in the back of my neck. I can feel ... the bullet
Robert Bessey told police the shot came from a gold SUV. Thanks to local news coverage, a trucker reported seeing a gold SUV at a gas station a few miles away from the shooting that morning. On the gas station's security camera footage, Robert Bessey's adopted son, Michael Bessey, and Amy Bessey's brother, Richard Pearson, were seen driving off towards where Robert Bessey was shot around the same time.
Police tracked down the gold SUV and found it belonged to Pearson's girlfriend. Michael Bessey and Pearson were arrested, and Robert Bessey told police that Michael Bessey had been threatening to kill him. But police also began looking closely at Amy Bessey.
Amy Bessey insisted to police she had nothing to do with the shooting. She said she was at dinner at her sister's house the night before, then went home and was asleep in bed when the crime occurred.
"Did he hurt me? Yes. Did he deserve to die? No," said Amy Bessey.
Robert Bessey didn't want to talk about his adopted son with "20/20," but in his statements to police, he alleged that Michael Bessey was the primary reason for his divorce from Amy Bessey and that Michael Bessey had an "unnatural relationship" with his mother, Amy Bessey.
Amy Bessey denied that there was ever anything wrong about her relationship with her son, and added that Robert Bessey made things up, and became delusional and unstable as Michael Bessey challenged his authority.
"Robert came unraveled over the last two years," Amy Bessey said.
Donna Speakman, Amy Bessey’s sister, told “20/20” that Robert Bessey became jealous when Michael Bessey and his mother would go out for drinks together.
“Then that’s when everything just kind of blew, because Robert kept insisting that Michael was getting too close to his wife… It’s ludicrous.” Speakman said. “It was just like sick. It’s like, that’s an insecurity or something, you know? It…wasn’t like they were going in…motels. They were going out to have a drink.”
Amy Bessey also said that she endured years of physical abuse from Robert Bessey. One particularly violent night finally led to the divorce and was part of the real reason Michael Bessey couldn't stand his adopted father, according to Amy Bessey.
"Before, it had always been hits to the ribs, hits to this, but trying to make it where it wasn't noticeable," Amy Bessey said. "He went off, and it was where I was on the floor with my hands and legs in the air telling him I just want to get up. I couldn't even breathe anymore."
“We went camping one year… Robert hit Amy and then had choked her,” Speakman recalled seeing evidence of the abuse. “And there were excuses, ‘I hit my face on the counter,’ just little bruises or little things.”
Amy Bessey wanted to leave her husband but didn’t know how, according to her sister Mary Pearson.
“She knew she had to get away,” Pearson told “20/20.” “She had to get away from Robert, but she didn’t know how. And she didn’t know if she could stay away.”