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Saturday, June 28, 1997 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Ex-Wife Pleads Guilty In Murder Plot

Seattle Times Snohomish County Bureau

EVERETT - An Arizona woman has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in a murder-for-hire plot against her former husband.

Marty J. Malone, 43, of Scottsdale entered her plea in Snohomish County Superior Court yesterday before Judge Joseph Thibodeau.

As Malone bowed her head and spoke softly to the judge, family members of victim Steven Ver Woert sat in the back of the courtroom near tears.

Ver Woert, of Bothell, was found stabbed in his mobile home in a Bothell trailer park Feb. 5.

Prosecutors originally charged both Malone and her co-defendant, Jonathan C. Curtis, with aggravated first-degree murder. But they allowed Malone to plead guilty to the lesser charge in exchange for her testimony during Curtis' upcoming trial. Aggravated first-degree murder carries a mandatory penalty of death or life in prison.

If Malone cooperates during the September trial, prosecutors will recommend a 23-year prison term, said Jim Townsend, chief criminal deputy.

Prosecutors allege Malone paid Curtis $25,000 to kill Ver Woert, her ex-husband, so she could collect on two insurance policies totaling $150,000 that she carried on him. She expected to inherit his estate as well, prosecutors say.

Copyright (c) 1997 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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