A Depew woman who admitted offering her car mechanic $1,000 to kill her mother-in-law was sentenced Tuesday to one to three years in prison.
Jean M. Rzeznik-Stanton, 29, of Transit Road, previously pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal solicitation for asking the Buffalo mechanic to kill her 54-year-old mother-in-law, whom she blamed for her failing three-year marriage.
Erie County Judge Michael Pietruszka ordered Reznik-Stanton to prison after listening to a victim impact statement from Rosemary A. Stanton, the intended target of the murder solicitation plot.
Stanton told the court that she carries a loaded weapon out of fear that her daughter-in-law has hired someone else to complete the task of killing her. She also said she fears for the lives of her daughter and goddaughter.
“I don’t know if she’s hired anyone else,” Stanton said in an interview with The News following the sentencing hearing. “She needs psychiatric help. She’s a sick individual.”
Reznik-Stanton did not speak in court, but her attorney, Robert Johnson, told Pietruszka that she was sorry for what she had done.
“She’s remorseful,” Johnson said. “It’s taken a big impact on her, as it should.”
Johnson also said that his client had reneged on the plot.
“She became confused and afraid. She did not really want to go through with this,” Johnson said.
Johnson asked the judge to sentence Reznik-Stanton to probation so she could seek mental health care while being monitored.
The solicitation began in February. The mechanic alerted Rosemary Stanton, who went to police in March.
Detectives convinced the mechanic to help them with their investigation by introducing Reznik-Stanton to Det. Jason. M. Mayhook, who posed as a hit man.
She informed the detective of her plan and showed him the intended victim’s house in the city.
She was arrested after meeting with the “hit man.”
Though she never agreed to hire the undercover detective, Reznick-Stanton was taken into custody, mainly due to concerns about the mother-in-law’s safety, prosecutors said. She admitted asking the mechanic to kill her mother-in-law, prosecutors said.
She faced up to seven years in prison.
Rzeznik-Stanton was going through a divorce and feared that she would lose custody of her three children, a situation she blamed on her mother-in-law, according to Assistant District Attorney John P. Feroleto.