A former Glendale Heights man who stole from several relatives and then sought to have them killed after he was caught has been sentenced to a total of 19 years in prison for both crimes.
Matthew Olszewski, 24, pleaded guilty Monday to theft and solicitation of murder. He was sentenced to 17 years for the solicitation charge and two years for the theft charge. He must serve the sentences consecutively and must serve at least 85 percent of the 17-year sentence.
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Olszewski, was arrested July 10, 2013, on charges he stole hundreds of dollars in jewelry, tools and electronics from his home on the 1500 block of Glen Ellyn Road, where he lived with his aunt and uncle.
While in jail, Olszewski asked another inmate about hiring a hitman to kill his aunt and his aunt's father-in-law.
The inmate went to authorities and agreed to wear a recording device during another conversation in which Olszewski expressed his desire to also have his uncle killed.
Prosecutors said he sought to have his aunt and uncle killed so he could be released from jail and raise their children.
But when Olszewski finally spoke with the supposed hitman, the person was an undercover officer working for the DuPage sheriff's office.
Prosecutors said Olszewski gave details about how he wanted the slayings carried out. He planned to pay with burglary proceeds.
When police continued the ruse and told him the job was done, Olszewski told the jail informant "this is what happens when someone crosses him," prosecutors said.
Olszewski wept Monday as he stood before Judge John Kinsella and read a letter apologizing to his aunt and uncle.
"I have prayed to God for forgiveness, and I hope you can forgive me, too," he said.
Moments earlier, Olszewski's aunt told the judge her family has been torn apart by her nephew's crimes.
"I had to explain to my children, who adore Matthew, about what jail was and ... why Matthew wouldn't be coming back," she said.
"You've got to right your ship," Kinsella told Olszewski after handing down the sentence, "and it's going to take some effort."