Aurora woman pleads guilty to trying to hire someone to kill her ex-boyfriend
An Aurora woman who had a solicitation of murder conviction overturned by an appellate court pleaded guilty Friday to a lesser charge of attempted solicitation of murder and is due to be released from prison.
As part of her plea, Maricela Arciga, 34, accepted a prison sentence of 15 years and has to serve at least 50% of that. She was given credit for the more than 10½ years she has been in jail or prison. She has been in the Kane County jail for the last six months, but the Illinois Department of Corrections has to admit her and process her release.
According to the plea deal, on Sept. 22, 2010, Arciga had conversations with people about possibly arranging for the murder of a man.
Authorities said Arciga told an acquaintance she wanted someone to kill her ex-boyfriend. The acquaintance told Aurora police, who set up a meeting with Arciga and a federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent. Arciga gave the agent $200, and promised to give him another $1,800, to kill her ex-boyfriend, authorities said.
A jury had convicted her in 2014 of the more serious crime of solicitation of murder. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison; to be freed, she would have had to serve at least 17 years.
But Arciga appealed her conviction, saying she was duped into the murder-for-hire plot by the acquaintance, with whom she was romantically involved, and the federal agent.
The Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court ruled in 2020 that her attorney, and the judge who presided over the trial, made several errors. The appellate court overturned the conviction and sent the case back for a new trial.