PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A judge sentenced an Oregon woman Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison in a murder-for-hire scheme that fizzled when the felon hired to kill her ex-husband alerted him to the plot.
Pamela Gygi, 58, was sentenced at the federal courthouse in Eugene after pleading guilty in January to charges of unlawful firearm possession and using interstate commerce in a murder-for-hire plot.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Papagni Jr. asserted in court documents that money was the motivation. Gygi and ex-husband Dean Hamill were embroiled in a property dispute and she was the beneficiary of his $150,000 life insurance policy.
Gygi wanted the money to help pay for an upcoming wedding and a move to California, Papagni said.
“She claimed he mentally and physically abused her over their 32-year marriage, a claim denied by or unsubstantiated by their (six) adult children,” Papagni said.
Court records show Hamill sought a divorce in 2014, as the two were building a home in Westlake, a small community near the coast. He then declined to give Gygi his new address in Saratoga Springs, Utah.
Months later, Gygi met an Idaho man online and soon set a wedding date.
Papagni said the relationship ended after the boyfriend obtained Hamill’s address for Gygi by hacking into online Mormon membership files.
Gygi then met a California man and planned to marry him in August 2015. When she needed money for that wedding, she turned to a felon identified in court papers as KS.
Papagni said KS attended the same church as Gygi and worked for her as a day laborer.
“She expressed how things would be a lot easier if (Hamill) was out of the picture,” Papagni said.
The would-be hit man later told authorities that Gygi paid him $600 and he was promised a residence in California, a 2005 Dodge Stratus and an online business Gygi owned with Hamill involving dog and cat breeding.
The felon violated probation by driving across state lines to warn Hamill, whom he had known before the divorce. He also stopped in Reno, Nevada, where he spent most of the $600.
After Hamill went to police on June 1, 2015, the felon agreed to work with investigators and record several conversations with Gygi.
The two discussed tampering with Hamill’s vehicle to make the death seem like an accident, FBI Special Agent Timothy Suttles said in an affidavit. They later decided an accident might only injure the man, not kill him, court documents said.
Ultimately, Gygi got a gun, authorities said.
She met the felon July 10, 2015, at a mall east of Eugene. She arrived with the Dodge Stratus on a trailer, gave him the pistol and suggested he make the killing look like it occurred during a home invasion, authorities said.
The felon told her that Hamill would be dead in about 36 hours.
Gygi left the parking lot and was going to Costco to “get wedding pictures done” when she was stopped by FBI agents, Papagni said.
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