The husband who confessed to making a cash deposit to have his wife killed in a failed murder-for-hire plot has been handed the maximum possible prison sentence.
Massimo Marenghi, 57, was sentenced in federal court in Massachusetts to 10 years in prison and three years of supervised release, the Justice Department said in a press release Tuesday. According to the federal docket, Marenghi did not speak at his sentencing hearing.
As Law&Crime previously reported, Marenghi had pleaded guilty in March to one count of using interstate commerce to commission a murder-for-hire. Although he believed he was hiring a contract killer to murder his wife, he was actually speaking to an undercover federal agent.
Marenghi’s would-be murder plot was undone by someone who had initially appeared to be helping Marenghi, an informant referred to in court filings as a “confidential source.” Marenghi had apparently “raised the topic of killing his wife” with this source, who was convinced by a series of text messages on Jan. 1, 2021, that Marenghi was serious. The source would later tell authorities that he tried to dissuade Marenghi from carrying out his plan.
According to the affidavit, Marenghi told the source that he was having issues with his wife and that she had sought a restraining order against him. The informant apparently told Marenghi what it would take to do the job. Marenghi agreed to pay $10,000 in cash and provided the source with pictures of his wife, information about her job location and hours, her home address, a description of her car, and her telephone number.
The confidential source then contacted local police, who in turn brought in the FBI, which sent in an undercover agent to pose as the hired killer. At times using coded language to sound like they were discussing a construction job, Marenghi and the undercover agent met in person, with Marenghi saying that he wanted to “eliminate that problem” of his wife.
According to prosecutors, Marenghi gave the undercover agent $1,500 cash as a deposit for the murder, apparently adding that the sooner the “demolition job” took place, the sooner he could pay the balance.
He was arrested on Jan. 29, 2021.
“Domestic violence is a truly haunting reality that is far too pervasive in our society,” Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in the DOJ’s press release. “At its core, that is what the prosecution of Mr. Marenghi was all about. He was looking to engage in the most extreme form of domestic violence by plotting the murder of his wife. While the vast majority of domestic violence situations do not involve federal criminal law, when this office has an opportunity to hold people accountable for this type of despicable conduct, we will spare no effort in prosecuting such offenders.”
U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs’ sentence matches exactly what federal prosecutors requested — the maximum possible sentence. Marenghi had requested a sentence of 48 months in prison followed by 48 months of supervised release.
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