State v. Gay

In State v. Gay, 4 Wn. App. 834, 486 P.2d 341 (WashCtApp 1971), a wife paid a $ 1,000 retainer to a feigned killer to assassinate her husband and agreed to pay the killer an additional $ 9,000 when her husband was dead. She furnished the killer with pictures of her husband so that he would kill the right man and told him about her husband's habits and where he could be found. In upholding her conviction for attempted murder, the court acknowledged that mere solicitation, which involves no more than asking or enticing someone to commit a crime, would not constitute the crime of attempt. However, the court declared that the very act of hiring a contract killer is an overt act directed toward the commission of the target crime. Id. at 345. The court ruled that the defendant had done everything that was to be done by her to accomplish the murder of her husband. Since the feigned assassin had made all the contacts and she had no way to contact him, she could not have stopped him after the final planning. The court concluded that the defendant's attempt to murder her husband was clearly established by the following undisputed evidence: (1) the forged assignment of the insurance policy six months before she hired a man to kill her husband, (2) the payment of premiums on her husband's $ 50,000 life insurance policy after the divorce had commenced, without the knowledge of her husband, and (3) the hiring of the feigned assassin.