LAS VEGAS » A 38-year-old ex-convict was sentenced Tuesday to life in Nevada state prison without parole for taking part in a murder plot by a mother of four to kill her husband, a U.S. Air Force service member from Guam, for his life insurance worth $650,000.
Corry Hawkins’ attorney, Andrea Luem, asked Tuesday for leniency and a chance for her client to one day seek parole in the December 2010 shooting death of Staff Sgt. Nathan Paet.
But Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon said he was convinced Hawkins helped plan the murder as well as accompanying Michael Rodriguez when Rodriguez gunned Nathan Paet down in his garage.
The dead man’s brother, Eric Paet, told the judge the family in Guam hoped for the maximum sentence for Hawkins, who pleaded guilty in October 2015 to murder, conspiracy, burglary and possession of a weapon by an ex-felon.
The wife, Michelle Antwanette Paet, and Rodriguez, her boyfriend and co-conspirator, were later convicted in separate trials of first-degree murder and other charges. They are each now also serving life sentences without parole.
Paet, 28, who served in Iraq, was an F-15 supply technician with the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas. He was preparing to drive to work when he was shot five times.
Jurors heard that Michelle Paet alerted Rodriguez by text message that Nathan Paet was running late but was coming out the door.
Jurors were told Nathan Paet died in front of his children, who ranged in age from 2 to 9, while Michelle Paet feigned horror and surprise.
Authorities said Michelle Paet later texted a smiley face to Rodriguez, who had gone to Hawkins’ apartment and burned his clothes in the fireplace.
Hawkins’ former girlfriend, Jessica Austin, who also lived at the apartment, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to commit murder. Her sentencing is pending.