DeAnna Marie Steinson was also sentenced by Steven Merryday, United States District Judge. She will serve three years of supervision and must pay $12,000 in restitution.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the judge stated that it was difficult for him to decide the sentence for the highly educated businesswoman from a church. Prosecutors described her as "calculating" to the point of seeking out someone to murder another woman.
Judge Merryday stated Wednesday that "it is true these people exist." They are one and the same person."
In January, Stinson pleaded guilty to one charge of murder-for hire. The federal sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of 9 years. This was the longest possible sentence.
The website, which was not identified in court, was found on the "dark internet", which is where many people buy illegal goods and services online. The website offered hitman services and she admitted to having made several transactions on it last summer.
Lisa Thelwell, Assistant U.S. attorney, displayed screenshots that showed banner photos of a spent cartridge casing, a man wearing a hoodie and holding a gun. The pricing page listed various acts: Death by shooting was listed at minimum $5,000, death by sniper was $20,000 and beating was $2,000.
The website was a fraud. The newspaper reported that Stinson was unaware of the scam and made numerous posts on the website’s public message board seeking to hire a hitman for a Florida Job.
According to records, she had made five bitcoin transactions worth $12,307.61. She also included the name, address, and photo of the intended victim. The FBI was notified and interviewed the intended victim. They also learned about the previous relationship between Stinson and the husband.
In August, an undercover agent called Stinson pretending to be a hitman. In a recorded telephone conversation that was played in court in August, the agent claimed that he had been monitoring the couple. He threatened to make it appear like a robbery, and he sought her assurances that she would go ahead with the plan. She refused to back down.
He advised her to "act shocked" when she discovered the truth.
He said, "Don't change anything." "She will be dead in two weeks."
Stinson was detained in September.
Federal Defender Alec Hall stated that he had cited an old saying, "Hell hath not fury like a woman scorned." "I believe that's what happened here."
Stinson's family and friends attended the hearing. The judge was informed by Stinson's parents and friends that she had a master's in accounting, managed her own financial services company and was the chief financial officer of her church.
Stinson was rebuffed in court.
She said, "I wish there were another word for sorry." "I'm truly sorry that my brokenness can cause discord in their families," she said.