Va. Beach mother who tried to kill witnesses in son’s murder trial pleads guilty

Shutterstock Photo

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach mother admitted that she tried to use a hit man to kill witnesses before they were set to testify in her son’s murder trial.

44-year-old Marie Antoinette Leary, formerly of the 3500 block of Woodburne Drive in Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty to two counts of solicitation to commit murder on Wednesday in Virginia Beach court.

The counts were in relation to conspiracy to kill two of the five co-defendants scheduled to testify against her son, Marquel Leary, during a murder trial back on July 11. He was eventually sentenced on Oct. 25 for the murder of Taiwan Simon.

According to a release from the commonwealth attorney’s office, Leary met with an undercover investigator posing as a hit man at an Oceanfront hotel prior to the trial.

During the exchange, Leary told the investigator she’d pay $2,500 to have her son’s co-defendants murdered, and that she’d “trade my soul with the devil” to protect her son.

When asked what specific action she’d like the undercover hit man to take, she replied, “a flat person can’t talk, I don’t want this (obscenity) coming back.”

After the meeting, she was taken into custody in the hotel’s parking lot.

Judge William R. O’Brien sentenced Marie Antoinette Leary to 20 years, with 10 years suspended.

The other five co-defendants in Marquel Leary’s trial are scheduled to be sentenced this month or in January 2018.