Murder-for-hire attempt nets woman 12 1/2 years
San Antonio Express-News
She was making $120,000 a year as an analyst for the government, had a bubbly daughter and lived in the tony Dominion.
But by delivering $2,000 to the man she hired to kill her husband, former Pentagon employee Martha Perry Evanoff, 54, threw it all away.
Evanoff, who most recently worked at the Army's Installation Management Command at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, was sentenced Wednesday to 12 1/2 years in federal prison after meeting with an undercover FBI agent who she thought was a hit man.
She was introduced to the agent after she approached co-workers and “wanted to know if anyone could take her husband out.”
Last summer, Evanoff was embroiled in a bitter divorce from James Grant Auchter. He moved into Haven for Hope after she kicked him out of their $600,000 home a couple of months before she met with the undercover agent.
Her lawyers, Jay Norton and Alan Brown, called a clinical psychologist to the stand. He testified that Evanoff suffers from certain mental health conditions and that coupled with stressors in her life, it may have made her act out irrationally.
Evanoff claimed Auchter abused her, which he denies, and she pleaded for probation.
“In a frantic state of mind ... I made horrible, horrible, life-altering decisions,” Evanoff told U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez. “On paper, it looks like I'm a monster, but I'm not.”
Turning to Auchter in the audience, Evanoff told him: “I hope Jim will forgive me.”
Trying to convince the judge that she is a responsible, respectful person, she said, “I've never harmed anyone and will never do it again.”
But Auchter told Rodriguez not to believe her.
“I have forgiven her, but I cannot forget,” Auchter said. “She is very goal-oriented. I think she will do this again if she has the opportunity.”
The judge found Evanoff a danger to the community and sentenced her to 151 months.