U.S. Army Spc. Kemia Hassel, 22, stands trial Berrien County, Michigan for first-degree premeditated murder in the death of her husband Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III, 23. She allegedly got her lover, fellow Spc. Jeremy Cuellar, 24, to ambush her husband December 31, 2018. Their plan was to collect the victim’s Army pension, prosecutors said.
Sgt. Hassel was ambushed by a gunman after he delivered food to his wife at his father’s home, authorities said.
This was an ugly end to a young, apparently happy relationship.
Sgt. Hassel’s father, Tyrone Hassel II, told MLive in February that the couple seemed happy. He had only heard them bicker once, and that was over their one-year-old son because the child was crying. The elder Hassel said he tried to comfort the defendant after her husband’s death, and that he had no idea that she might’ve played a role in the incident.
Kamia Hassel stayed for 12 days at his home until she was arrested, he said.
“I tried to make sure she ate,” he said. “Make sure she get enough sleep.”
Cuellar was arrested at his home in Georgia and extradited to Michigan. His trial is set for August. He is being tried as the actual gunman.
Kemia Hassel and her co-defendant allegedly plotted the killing on Snapchat, authorities said.
Prosecutors said she confessed to the killing, but her defense said in opening statements that she only admitted to this under pressure from police. They put the sole responsibly for this murder on Cuellar.
#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
— Law & Crime Network (@LawCrimeNetwork) July 15, 2019
[Screengrab via ABC 57]
Note: Updated with more information from Tyrone Hassel’s interview MLive. We also added details from the opening statements.