U.S. Army Spc. Kemia Hassel was found guilty in getting her lover Spc. Jeremy Cuellar to kill her husband Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III. Prosecutors said they wanted to collect money from his death. Her defense argued that while she really did have a relationship with her co-defendant, she didn’t plan the death with him.
#KemiaHassel – The jury finds Hassel GUILTY of first-degree premeditated murder in the death of her husband. She’s also found guilty of count 2 Conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder. pic.twitter.com/4SYF1A3cU5
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) July 18, 2019
“She had an affair with Jeremy Cuellar,” said defense lawyer Chris Kessel during closing arguments. “That does not prove that she was part of a plot to murder her husband. Does it make her a bad wife? Sure. Does it make her a person who lacks honor? Sure. But that doesn’t prove a plot. That doesn’t prove intent.”
He said that his client understood felt bad about not stopping it. She knew what Cuellar told her, but didn’t believe it would happen.
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) July 16, 2019
#KemiaHassel – Defense says Jeremy Cuella is a psychopath and he wanted Kemia to himself. He says police wore her down during interrogation until she gave a false confession. “The evidence they have that Kemia Hassel was involved is very minimal.” Opening statements are complete
— Cathy Russon (@cathyrusson) July 15, 2019
Prosecutor Steven Pierangeli said in closing arguments said that Kemia Hassel was just as responsible as Cuellar for the murder. The defense had argued that her confession to investigators was coerced, but Pierangeli insisted it was legitimate.
“In her own statement to her mom, she said, ‘No, they’re not coercing me mom. We planned it.’ To her mom,” he said.
Cuellar is being tried separately as the actual gunman. He is scheduled to be tried in August.
[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]