Rejecting claims of entrapment, a Kane County jury Thursday convicted an Aurora woman of trying to hire a hitman to kill her boyfriend in fall 2010.
Maricela Arciga, 27, faces between 20 and 60 years in prison after her conviction for solicitation of murder for hire.
She has been held on $750,000 bail at the Kane County jail since her arrest in October 2010. She will be sentenced Oct. 23.
During her trial before Judge Susan Clancy Boles this week, prosecutors argued Arciga wanted her boyfriend killed and gave a $200 down payment on a $2,000 fee to an undercover officer posing as a hitman at a meeting Sept. 26, 2010.
She was arrested about a week later, and her boyfriend was not harmed.
Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Vince Coyle said in closing arguments Arciga printed out a picture of her boyfriend, along with his name, address, make and color of his car and time he got off work. Arciga told a co-worker she wanted her boyfriend dead; the co-worker went to police and an undercover officer posed as the co-worker's cousin and hitman.
"She wanted him dead and she did not care what happened to his body," Coyle said. "This wasn't for a warning. She didn't want to scare him. She wanted him out of her life."
Defense attorney Raul Villalobos acknowledged his client wanted her boyfriend killed, but argued that the case was the result of entrapment by both her co-worker and the undercover officer.
Villalobos argued Arciga never gave the hitman a penny beyond $200 and didn't make an effort to find cocaine as the balance of payment, as suggested by the officer and co-workers. Villalobos also said the co-worker pressured Arciga into moving forward and the two became romantically involved about a week after she met with the officer.
"(The co-worker) wanted to have sex. The (cellphone) texts indicate that and he did have sex, twice. Is that what an informant should do? Is that what an agent of the government should do?" said Villalobos, who stressed the co-worker put a lot of "extra effort" into his role as an informant.
"It wasn't until weeks later when the light bulb blinks and (Arciga) says, 'Oh my God, I was set up,' " her attorney said. "Other than putting a gun to her head, I don't know there's much more to induce her and incite her."
Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon thanked investigators.
"We appreciate that the jury saw through Miss Arciga's claims of entrapment, as well as her claim that she didn't really intend to have the victim killed," McMahon said.
The jury deliberated nearly six hours before reaching its verdict.