An abused wife, who planned to relocate in Wyoming with her kids and lover, was sentenced today to 10 years and four months in a California prison for recruiting a would-be hit man to hack her husband to death outside his Fountain Valley residence.
Mary Katheryn Sharpski last month entered into a plea bargain with prosecutors that wiped out the 50-year-old's credit for time served in jail, making her punishment the equivalent of nearly 16 years in prison, according to defense attorney Joel Garson.
Mary and Frank Sharpski took Michael Calvin Shores II in as a tenant at their two-bedroom Fountain Valley apartment after he lost his job as a security guard. Shores was to clean up the apartment and care for the couple's two daughters and son instead of paying rent, but by the spring of 2009, he and Mary had become lovers.
They allegedly conspired to hire butcher Antonio Cinco Ortega of Santa Ana to kill Frank Sharpski in what would appear to be a robbery attempt (allegedly because 42-year-old Shores has a trial pending).
Around 5:30 a.m. on March 3, 2009, Frank Sharpski was in an alley outside his apartment, heading to the FedEx van he drove to work, when he was approached by a stranger wielding a machete with a three-foot-long blade. The 49-year-old's skull was fractured, a thumb and fingers were severed, his nose was sliced off and he suffered several other machete wounds as he was left to die. His screams alerting neighbors–and several emergency surgeries–are what saved his life. He now uses a wheelchair and is missing fingers.
Ortega, 26, was convicted and sentenced in January to 25 years to life in prison for the attempted murder.
City News Service reports Deputy District Attorney Lynda Fernandez is negotiating a plea deal for Shores, who is due in court Dec. 6 for a trial-setting conference. That's because Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey last month ruled the prosecution cannot show jurors Sharpski's videotaped confession without the testimony of her inquisitor Vern Ahlo. The retired detective said he was “uninterested” in testifying, according to Fernandez.
After Sharpski said she might need an attorney, the video camera was turned off for 20 minutes before she related the details of the murder-for-hire plot, explained Fernandez, who noted Sharpski later claimed the confession was coerced.
“Without [Ahlo's] cooperation, there was no way to disprove the defendant's testimony that she was harassed and badgered during the 20 minutes the video camera was off,” Fernandez said.
A mistrial was declared in Sharpski's first trial after jurors who'd heard about the emotional and physical pain she endured in her marriage could not agree on a conviction.
Toohey received a victim-impact statement from Frank Sharpski, who explained how he has struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder, needed help penning his letter to the judge and has only recently been healthy enough to use a walker (with great difficulty).
“Mary's actions have changed my life and my children's lives forever,” he wrote. “I will never be able to have freedom from my injuries and disability.”