Woman accused in overseas murder-for-hire plot sentenced for ricin posession

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma woman accused in an elaborate murder-for-hire plot has learned her fate in federal court.

In July of last year, federal prosecutors charged Danielle Layman, claiming she tried to hire a woman through Craigslist to travel to Tel Aviv, Israel and kill her ex husband - a taxi driver there - by poisoning his coffee with ricin.

Layman pleaded guilty to possessing the ricin in exchange for prosecutors dismissing the murder-for-hire charge.

A long and dramatic sentencing came to an emotional end as Danielle Layman admitted to making the ricin out of curiosity.

She told the judge she feared her ex-husband and was simply drawing out a fantasy that she never intended to actually carry out.

The defense argued that Layman didn’t have the resources to carry out something like this. However, the prosecution disagreed.

Layman’s ex-husband traveled from Israel to testify in the case. He said if offered the coffee, he would have drank it, saying it would have been rude to not take it from a customer.

The court also heard of the deep-rooted custody battle over the former couple’s daughter,  which prosecutors cited as Layman’s motivation.

The woman who was hired to carry out Layman's plot testified that she didn't know it was Layman's ex-husband she was hired to kill. She said she knew the substance was dangerous and didn't open it, but a roommate disposed of it.

Layman’s current husband was also called to the stand. He testified that his wife and her family had long used castor oil for beauty purposes, but never knew she made ricin.

He said he and his wife would never have had the funds to send someone to Israel to carry out this plan.

The judge said she believed there were untruthful statements made from all parties except Layman’s current husband, but says she believes a serious crime was committed. She said ultimately, Layman’s five children were put in danger by her actions.

Layman’s attorneys argued she’s an excellent mother and her children depend on her, especially the youngest who is only 6-months-old.

In court, Layman was sentenced to 37 months in prison with 3 years of supervised release.  She was ordered to report for her sentence by July 26.

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