COEUR D'ALENE-- A judge sentenced a north Idaho attorney convicted of hiring a hit man to kill his wife and mother-in-law to 50 years in prison for the failed plot.
Edgar Steele will also serve three years of supervised release and pay a total of $2,836 in restitution to the State of Idaho Military Division, Quik Lube, and Cyndi Steele.
In his sentencing hearing Wednesday, Steele told the court via a statement he was framed, and is a victim. Steele is 66 and called the proposed sentence a death sentence.
His wife Cindi, whom he's accused of trying to kill, addressed the court as well. She supports her husband and blasted the court, lawyers, and FBI in a statement that continued for 30 minutes until a judge ordered her to stop. The judge also directed Cindi Steele to stop making personal attacks.
A jury convicted Steele in May of hiring his neighbor, Larry Fairfax, to kill his wife and mother-in-law.
In June of 2010, a pipe bomb was discovered under Cyndi Steele s car by crews at an oil change shop before it could go off. Fairfax later confessed to the crime.
Authorities say Fairfax acted as an informant for the FBI during Steele s trial and reached a plea bargain deal to serve only 27 months in prison.
The government's sentencing memorandum says Steele was heartless to plan the murder of his wife and depraved in manipulating a financially desperate neighbor to commit the crime.
Steele, of Sagle, Idaho, was also sentenced for using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire, use of explosive material to commit a federal felony, possession of a destructive device in relation to a crime of violence, and tampering with a victim.
Mr. Steele represents a clear danger to society and today's sentence ensures he will no longer pose a threat to our community and its residents, said Supervisory Senior Resident Agent Don Robinson, supervisor of the Coeur d'Alene office of the FBI and the North Idaho Violent Crime Task Force.