A 42-year-old Michigan woman who had a hit man murder her husband appeared in federal court in New York Wednesday, where she faces charges that she conspired to murder him.
The alleged hitman she thought was working for her has since been indicted and will be tried separately, the US attorney’s office in New York said Wednesday.
Because she lives abroad, the accused, Eva Kuznetsova, was transferred from the Northern District of New York to the Southern District of New York. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in prison.
“Eva Kuznetsova thought she had the means to silence her husband; instead, she put her family in grave danger,” Acting US Attorney Timothy P. McNiff said. “I have never seen a stronger case against a woman who conspired to kill another person, especially one who was engaged in a political opposition campaign.”
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said at a news conference Wednesday that when her family became alarmed about Kuznetsova’s behavior, the woman seemed to take the news well, doing little to feel like she had been betrayed.
“While you’re hoping that she would not be able to handle it, when she told me today that she didn’t regret telling the truth about what happened to him, it really was a testament to her character,” Singas said.
And in court Wednesday, Kuznetsova looked to be ready to fight, her attorney Robert Trout saying “In my mind, it’s a personal mission, a mission against those who operate criminal enterprises.”
The suspect already faces state charges in Michigan and Illinois for attempting to solicit a hitman, and this is expected to be part of the case when she appears in federal court there.
After investigators traced the calls from her cell phone to another location in Michigan, they figured out that she was actually in Ohio, where she allegedly made plans to kill her husband and then arranged for a hitman to do it, authorities said.
Her husband had reportedly filed for divorce in April. He was found dead in their home in Auglaize County on June 15.
Authorities believe he was murdered on June 13, the day after his 55th birthday. They said Kuznetsova tried to cover up his death by ordering the hit.
Singas said investigators are trying to determine where the suspect’s husband was in the hours before he was killed.
A previous filing by Singas said it’s clear Kuznetsova had “instructed a contact in Ohio to arrange for an unnamed ‘hit man’ to murder” her husband.
In mid-May, investigators said Kuznetsova allegedly hatched her plan on Facebook. She “nearly immediately started communicating with a known perpetrator online from Ohio, who agreed to assist her in these activities,” authorities said.
The man, identified as 42-year-old Edward Meyer, has been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, authorities said.
If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.