BOISE -- The wife of a now-convicted man is outraged a jury found him guilty of hiring a hit man to kill her with a bomb.
He is innocent, he did not do this and we have the proof, which was denied in that courtroom, Cyndi Steele said.
Jury returns guilty verdict on all counts
Federal prosecutors say her husband, northern Idaho attorney Edgar Steele, hired a hitman to kill her and her mother-in-law because he wanted insurance money and the ability to pursue other women.
On Thursday afternoon, a Boise federal jury agreed with prosecutors. They convicted the 65-year-old of four counts in the murder-for-hire trial.
Steele's wife says her husband's conviction is the result of a plot the government had to take down her husband because of his previous client's involvement with the Aryan Nations .
They took our life and turned it into an ugly story, Cyndi Steele said.
That story began when a mechanic found a pipe bomb under Cyndi Steele's car. Investigators say a hired hand, Larry Fairfax, planted the bomb at the request of her husband, Edgar Steele.
Steele's wife says conviction is part of a conspiracy
I am the wife, the proud wife of Edgar J. Steele, and I am here to tell you this is a cover up, a frame up, to cover up Larry Fairfax's crimes against me, Cyndi Steele said.
The defense argued Fairfax planted the bomb to cover up a theft and that Edgar Steele had nothing to do with it.
Cyndi Steele says evidence presented in trial was fabricated, specifically tapes prosecutors played in court of her husband talking with Fairfax about the murder plot.
My husband is innocent, we had the proof, we had all the proof, and it was the court system that would not allow our experts that know that those tapes are falsified, Cyndi Steele said.
Steele's wife says it's a grudge
Cyndi Steele says the federal government didn't like her husband because he defended a client involved with Aryan Nations. She says Steele's conviction was part of a conspiracy.
Whether you agree, disagree, or are mutual on my husband's point of views, that is not the point, CyndiSteele said. He had the right to freedom of speech in this country, and we are losing it. And the more people that speak out, they [the government] are going to be coming after us, and you're going to look back on this day and realize that Ed, among others who have already been put away, is just the beginning.
Prosecutors: Evidence is authentic, trial was fair
Prosecutors say the trial was fair.
The defendant and the defense tried to paint this case as one that involved a government conspiracy, government misconduct, and falsified evidence. None of those things are true, U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said.
Olson says the audio tapes are authentic, and the trial was fair and just.
It's simply not a case of the government targeting him, of anybody targeting him, Olson said. Edgar Steele chose to target himself when he offered money to Larry Fairfax for the murder of his wife.
Sentencing set for August
Steele will be sentenced in Coeur d'Aleneon August 22. Because of the murder-for-hire conviction, the judge will sentence him to at least 30 years in prison. With that and the other three counts, he faces up to life in prison.
Cyndi Steele says they will appeal the conviction.
I will fight this until my last breath because it is wrong, she said.
Hitman asks for reduced sentence
Larry Fairfax made a plea deal last year, after admitting that he had placed a bomb underneath Cyndi Steele's car. He's scheduled to be sentenced next week.
On Thursday, the same day Steele was convicted, Fairfax's attorney filed a request for the judge to reduce his prison sentence.
In court documents obtained by KTVB, Fairfax's attorney gives various factors indicating Fairfax should only serve 8-14 months. He says the 11 months he's served in jail should be sufficient.