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SC woman who arranged husband's death pleads guilty to murder to avoid possible death penalty

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PICKENS, South Carolina — A Pickens County woman pleaded guilty to arranging for a friend to kill her husband to avoid a possible death sentence.

Local media outlets report that 35-year-old Crystal Williams pleaded guilty Friday to murder and conspiracy in the Jan. 26 death of 38-year-old Shane Williams. She was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After the hearing, Solicitor Walt Wilkins announced he will seek the death penalty against 36-year-old Marcus Johnson of Easley, who rejected the same plea deal.

Wilkins says the two plotted to kill her husband to collect on his $250,000 life insurance policy and other financial assets. The prosecutor says Crystal Williams let Johnson into her home, then woke her husband of 14 years and asked him to go to the living room and put wood in their stove heater.

She told deputies who arrived after the 3:45 a.m. shooting that she was asleep when an intruder shot her husband. The couple's 11-year-old son was home at the time.

Wilkins says phone records show Williams and Johnson had been texting and talking.

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