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Trial set for woman charged with hiring hit man to kill husband

November 2, 2011 | 11:14 pm

Sandra Jessee booking photo

A 60-year-old woman is scheduled for trial Thursday in Orange County on charges that she conspired to have her husband killed so she could save money by not paying for his cancer treatments and profit from his insurance and 401(k) benefits.

Sandra Jessee, who lived in Placentia, faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole, the Orange County district attorney's office said. Jessee was tried previously, but a jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict in July 2009.

Jessee is charged with conspiring to kill her third husband, Jack Jessee, beginning on June 1, 1998, the district attorney's office said. She allegedly plotted the crime with Thomas Dayton Aehlert, 41, who is her son from a previous marriage. Aehlert pleaded guilty in October to one count of second-degree murder in connection with the case and is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

Prosecutors said Jessee and Aehlert arranged to have Jack Jessee killed by a hit man for $50,000. Jack Jessee was stabbed to death in August 1998, prosecutors said. The case went cold until 2005, when authorities uncovered additional evidence.

The trial is scheduled to begin at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

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-- Robert J. Lopez
twitter.com/LAJourno

Photo: Sandra Jessee. Credit: Orange County district attorney's office

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