Woman Detailed Ex-Boyfriend's Killing in a Letter, Prosecutors Say

Maryann Castorena claims the document was part of a book or movie script.

ByABC News
November 5, 2014, 11:32 AM

— -- A woman plotted to have her former boyfriend bludgeoned to death to collect a $1.5 million life insurance policy, even writing a letter to lay out how the killing would happen, prosecutors said during the opening of a Michigan murder trial.

Maryann Castorena, 40, is accused in plotting to kill Jose Hernandez, 38. His body was found frozen, buried in the snow near his car in January.

Castorena wrote a letter laying out how the killing would happen, authorities said, but she has claimed the document was part of a book or movie script she planned to write. Police say the letter was written to Anthony Delagarza, then 19, the victim’s former roommate who has admitted killing Hernandez.

Hernandez was ambushed in Park Township, with blows to the head, police said.

In opening statements Tuesday, prosecutors told jurors the case involved greed and selfishness. Delagarza, who pleaded guilty in August to second-degree murder, is a key witness, having agreed to testify against Castorena.

Castorena has pleaded not guilty to charges including conspiracy and solicitation to first-degree murder, insisting Delagarza acted on his own. And she has told police that the letter or movie script was based on an overheard conversation, not her actual plans.

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said the case is a difficult one for the defense.

“There’s this document that she apparently admits to writing that details how the crime was committed,” he said. “It’s very hard to explain that away. And it doesn’t help that she gave so many different stories.”