MISSOULA – A Libby man who was found guilty of plotting to have his estranged wife killed was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison.
Shane D. Sichting, 39, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy.
Federal prosecutors said Sichting paid an employee of his auto body shop to find someone to kill his wife, Sheilagh Sichting. He was found guilty of using interstate communications to commit murder-for-hire for wiring some of the money to an Oregon bank account.
Court records said Sichting was frustrated with divorce proceedings in late 2006 and confided in several friends that he wished his wife were dead and that he was willing to hire someone to kill her.
Prosecutors said employee Ronald Morales saw an opportunity to scam Sichting and offered to kill Sichting’s wife.
Morales took the money and returned to his home in western Oregon. Prosecutors said more money was wired to a bank account in the name of Morales’ son.
Morales spent the money and then informed law enforcement in Oregon of Sichting’s plan. He was granted immunity in the case.
Investigators recorded a conversation between Sichting and Morales in which Sichting confirmed he still wanted the “motor fixed.”
Sichting told authorities he was talking about sabotaging his wife’s SUV so she couldn’t leave town with their children.
“I thought we were talking about putting Tootsie Rolls in her gas tank,” he told FBI agents.
Morales testified that when he asked for a “picture of the motor,” he received a picture of Sichting’s wife and MapQuest directions to a house where she was living in Billings.
Investigators then sent an undercover officer to meet with Sichting, posing as a hit man.
Prosecutors said Sichting told the officer he’d paid Morales $50,000 to have his wife killed.
The officer asked Sichting how he wanted it done, saying that he could shoot her in the back of the head and take her purse to make it look like a carjacking and theft.
Sichting replied: “OK, I don’t want to know,” court records said.
Sichting was arrested on Aug. 31, 2007.
Kim Edlin, who had a romantic relationship with Sichting while his divorce was progressing, testified at trial that Sichting repeatedly talked about “taking out” his wife. Edlin eventually went to Lincoln County authorities with the information.
While Sichting was jailed in Missoula, he frequently spoke with Edlin on the phone. During one recorded conversation, he admitted paying Morales $5,000 to kill his wife, whom he accused of bilking money from his business.
“As far as I’m concerned, she doesn’t even deserve to suck air,” Sichting said in a phone message left on Edlin’s answering machine, court records said.
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