A jury deliberated for about four hours before convicting Kevin Sears, 35, of conspiracy to murder and solicitation of murder for trying to have his wife, Jessica, killed in 2011, The Voice reports.
Sears and his former wife, who has remarried and now goes by the name of Jessica Scaife, were going through an acrimonious divorce that included Sears’ hospitalization for depression after he locked himself in the bathroom of the family home with a shotgun and what one of the attorneys involved in the dissolution called “bad behavior by both parties.”
Kevin Sears was the last of six co-defendants to face trial. Four others have been convicted,including Sears’ sister, Christina Sears, 27, of Ray Township, who is serving a life sentence with a possibility of parole for her part in the scheme.
The mastermind was apparently Sears’ former lover and co-defendant, Mallorie Wilson-Strat of Ferndale, who testified in the trial.Currently serving a life sentence on solicitation of murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, she will be eligible for parole in 15 years.
Wilson-Strat reportedly hired two friends – David A. Clark, 32, formerly of Oak Park, and Jorden Powell, 23, formerly of Detroit – for $10,000 to kill Jessica Sears. The first attempt was botched when Clark was unable to open the door to the bedroom where Jessica Sears and her future new husband slept.
In the second attempt, the man Wilson-Strat made arrangements with was an undercover cop. She reportedly paid sheriff’s Detective Sgt. John Glass $500, with a promise for $7,000 when the job was finished,
Clark and Powell are also serving life sentences after their convictions on murder conspiracy and home invasion.
That’s the same sentence Sears could face when he is sentenced Jan. 22 by Judge John Foster.
Another co-defendant, Bashar Mansour of Warren, was acquitted in his June 2012 trial.
The first attempt on Jessica Sears’ life occurred on March 23, 2011, the same date she and Kevin Sears appeared in court to agree to settlement terms. They divorced a month later, a week after several of the defendants in the murder-for-hire scheme were arrested.
Among those testifying in the five-day trial was Sears’ divorce attorney, Elizabeth Nacy of Royal Oak. She testified to “bad behavior” by both parties and said that an alleged affair only minimally figured into the breakdown of the marriage.
Testimony from the divorce was part of the record in the proceedings, including Kevin Sears’ hospitalization for depression for four to six weeks after he locked himself in the bathroom with a shotgun while he was watching the couple’s children.
During the divorce proceedings, Kevin Sears reportedly threatened his wife with a 2-inch-by-6-inch piece of lumber as the two stood in a parking lot outside of a title company, where they had just finalized a short sale of their Capac Road home.