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St. Paul woman convicted of plot to kill her husband

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A Ramsey County jury has convicted a St. Paul woman in a plot to murder her husband, KSTP reports.

Heather Horst, 25, was found guilty Tuesday of aiding and abetting and conspiracy to commit first- and second-degree murder in the August 2013 shooting death her husband, Staff Sgt. Brandon Horst, 25, who was in the National Guard.

The jury took just two hours to reach its verdict, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Prosecutors said Horst convinced a friend, Aaron Allen, to kill her husband by telling him that Brandon was abusing her, according to KARE 11. They say her motive was to collect $480,000 from two life insurance policies carried by Brandon Horst, and she told Allen she would give him $100,000.

Allen, 26, shot Brandon Horst in the head while he was sleeping in the couple's home on Bellows Street in St. Paul on Aug. 5. He pleaded guilty to the murder in March and agreed to testify against Horst in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Allen claimed that Heather Horst drove him to the home she and her husband shared, texted him while he was waiting in the basement, drove him away from the crime scene after the shooting and helped him dispose of the murder weapon.

Brandon Horst's parents spoke briefly to WCCO after the verdict came in Tuesday afternoon, and said they were happy with the outcome.

“Justice is served, but it will never bring Brandon back,” Brandon Horst's mother, Brenda Horst, told WCCO. “You don’t want to think that someone in your family is capable of such things. If there were signs, we missed them."

Heather Horst was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, which is mandatory for these crimes. Aaron Allen is scheduled to be sentenced in June. His plea agreement calls for a sentenced of 40 years.

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