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Wife Found Guilty Of Plotting Sgt. Husband's Murder

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- The verdict is in for a wife on trial, accused of hiring a hit man to kill her husband. On Tuesday, a jury found Heather Leann Horst, of St. Paul, guilty on all four counts in plotting the murder of her husband, Brandon Horst, a member of the Minnesota National Guard.

According to the complaint, 25-year-old Heather Horst hired her friend Aaron Allen to kill her husband, with the intent they would share the money collected from his military and federal life insurance policies.

Heather, the sole benefactor, stood to receive $480,000 after her husband's death.

Allen pleaded guilty in March to shooting Brandon several times while he slept in his St. Paul home on Aug. 5, 2013.

The jury said they believe Heather orchestrated what they called a "murder for hire" in order to kill her husband. The verdict will send her to prison for the rest of her life.

The verdict was welcomed news for Brandon's family.

"Very pleased, happy," his father Mark said. "Just like to thank everyone for their prayers and support."

His mother echoed those sentiments but said it doesn't change the heartbreaking loss.

"Justice is served but it will never bring Brandon back," Brenda Horst said. "You don't want to think that someone in your family is capable of such things. If there were signs, we missed them."

In his plea deal, Allen agreed to testify against Horst, who he claims drove him to the St. Paul home she shared with her husband, assured him that he was asleep, drove him away from the crime scene after the shooting and helped dispose of the murder weapon.

Brandon Horst was a staff sergeant with the Minnesota National Guard's 133rd Security Force Squadron.

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