Woman gets life in ambush slaying of soldier husband

Southwest Michigan
kemia hassel preliminary exam 022119 AP_1550802482719

Kemia Hassel, 22, appears with her co-defendant, Jeremy Cuellar, 24, (not pictured) for a preliminary exam on a charge of first-degree premeditated murder at the Berrien County Courthouse in St. Joseph, Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019. U.S. Army Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III, 23, was killed on Dec. 31, 2018. A police investigation revealed the pair, Cuellar and Hassel were having an affair and plotted to killed Tyrone to continue their relationship and reap financial benefits resulting from his death. Cuellar was stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia where Kemia and Tyrone were also stationed, where they lived with their 1-year-old child. (Joel Bissell/Kalamazoo Gazette via AP)

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. (AP) — The wife of a U.S. Army sergeant from Michigan who was convicted of plotting to kill her husband has been sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Twenty-two-year-old Kemia Hassel learned her punishment Thursday. A Berrien County jury found her guilty of murder last month in the death of Sgt. Tyrone Hassel III. The 23-year-old was fatally shot in an ambush on New Year’s Eve while visiting family in St. Joseph Township.

Kemia Hassel chose not to speak at the sentencing hearing.

Prosecutors argued at trial that she planned her husband’s death so she could continue a romantic relationship with 24-year-old Jeremy Cuellar. All three were soldiers stationed at Fort Stewart in Georgia.

Cuellar has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and faces a minimum sentence of 65 years in prison.

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