Woman: Hiring hit man to kill husband 'easier than divorcing him'

Undercover video released

MUSKEGON, Mich. - An investigation into a 20-year-old West Michigan woman who later pleaded guilty to soliciting the murder of her 27-year-old husband included videotaped meetings with an undercover police detective.

On the video, Julia Charlene Merfeld, of Muskegon, is heard telling the detective posing as a hit man that the killing would be "easier than divorcing him."

Merfeld said that if he was killed she wouldn't have to worry about her family's judgment or "breaking his heart."

Two videos made in April were released to The Muskegon Chronicle (http://bit.ly/16ZIVIP ) by prosecutors.

"When I first decided to do this, it's not that we weren't getting along. It was easier, as terrible as it sounds, it was easier than divorcing him," Merfeld said in the video.

Merfeld pleaded guilty last month to soliciting a murder. She's jailed ahead of sentencing July 30 and is expected to face prison time.

Authorities said Merfeld wanted her husband's $400,000 life insurance policy and promised to pay $50,000 for the killing.

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