Former Keyport resident Julia Merfeld has been sentenced in Michigan for plotting to kill her husband.

Jacob Merfeild (R) sits with Julia Merfeld's parents in court (WXMI TV)

A Muskegon County, Michigan judge sentenced Merfeld to 20 years after she was caught on  video tape talking to a man she thought was a hit man. Her husband Jacob Merfeld, who sat with her parents in court, asked the judge for a light sentence and described her in court as "wonderful" and "godly" according to

"She has been nothing but a great mother to them,”said Jacob, hoping that her sentence would be light so their children age 2 and 4 would not be without their mother for a long period of time.

Julia, 21,  will have to serve a minimum of five years, eight years in prison but no more than twenty.

Murder "Easier Than Divorce"

Julia Merfeld addresses the court (WXMI TV)

Julia thought that murdering her husband would be "easier than divorcing him." She reasoned that his death would relieve her of the “judgment of my family,’ she wouldn’t have to worry about “breaking his heart” and she could make a “clean getaway” to a new life.

Muskegon County Prosecutor D.J. Hilson pushed for a longer sentence. “I wonder how remorseful she would be if the (murder) had been carried out, if she had gotten the $400,000,” said Hilson according to Julia was going to pay the hit man with $400,000 from a life insurance policy.

Julia also spoke in court in her first public statement about the case. I know that what I did was wrong, and I take full responsibility for it,” she told the judge. “My tears are not for pity ... my tears are for remorse.”

The Merfeld family moved to Michigan a couple of years ago when Jacob was re-assigned by the US Coast Guard.

Julia talked to a co-worker about hiring a hitman and became concerned so he contacted police who set up the sting on Merfeld. The "hit man" met with Julia on two occasions and their meetings were video taped.