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Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Friday, June 17, 2005

Criminal Defense Attorney Charged With Hiring Hitman to Kill Husband

From Law.com:  "Ohio defense attorney Maridee Costanzo made a reputation for herself as one aggressive, tough-talking and remarkably profane lawyer.  She once called a judge a "sick, twisted old man" in a voice mail message. Another time, she told a client who was considering a divorce to max out her husband's credit cards. The woman did, going on a $14,000 shopping spree.  But all of that was nothing compared with what she said in federal court on Thursday: She admitted trying to have her estranged husband killed.  Costanzo, 47, is accused of making a $1,100 downpayment in April toward a $5,000 hit on her husband, Roger Bauer. Prosecutors did not offer a motive, and Costanzo did not explain in court. She could get up to 10 years in prison at sentencing Aug. 4.  She pleaded guilty in the murder-for-hire plot before a judge could even finish stating the charge against her.  "I've heard it. I've read it, ad nauseam," she said.

U.S. District Judge David D. Dowd Jr. asked her if she knew she had a right to a jury trial. "Been there. Done that. Understand thoroughly," Costanzo replied.  [Mark Godsey]

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