DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) – A mother of three from Depew learned her punishment Tuesday after she admitted she tried to hire a hitman to kill her mother-in-law.
Jean Rzeznik-Stanton, 29, pleaded guilty to criminal solicitation. She could have faced anywhere from probation up to seven years in prison. Judge Michael Pietruszka decided on a one- to three- year sentence.
To the mother-in-law she tried to have killed, it is both a satisfying and conflicting day. Rosemary Stanton has three grandchildren now living with her who do not completely understand why their mother isn’t around.
“You get so torn between wanting justice and hurting the kids,” she said.
Rzeznik-Stanton told police about the plot, saying it was hatched when she joked with a man, saying, “God I wish she [her mother-in-law] would just disappear.”
Stanton told police the man, a mechanic, said he could make that happen.
“He said he needed money up front to do the hit. He wanted $1,000 up front,” she told officers.
However, the alleged hit man got cold feet and went to Rosemary and told her about the plan. Police then say the mother-in-law came to them. Stanton was arrested when she showed an undercover detective where her mother-in-law’s house was in Buffalo in a police sting. She had two of her kids with her at the time.
Buffalo Police Commissioner Dan Derenda said if their detectives didn’t stop the plan from going forward, it could have ended tragically.
“Even the detectives said that was cold-blooded. They couldn’t believe how nonchalant she was about it. Like it was no big deal,” Rosemary said.
Rosemary says Jean is the type of person who would do whatever it takes to get what she wants. But their relationship used to be different.
“We used to be close. But when she cheated on him, all the sudden I became ‘the meddling mother-in-law.’ And I wasn’t. I wasn’t meddling; I was just giving him a place to stay,” Rosemary said.
When it came to court, Rosemary felt conflicted. She wanted her daughter-in-law to go to prison for what she did. But she couldn’t help but feel bad for her grandkids, who would lose their mother.
“It’s hard to explain to the children that what I did was right. It’s hard to explain to them that I had to go to the police, or I’d be dead,” Rosemary said.
The judge sent Jean away to prison for at least a year, a sentence during which Rosemary’s role as a grandmother will be much different.
“It’s going to be hard to tell the grandchildren that their mother did something wrong and had to pay for it,” Rosemary said.
Rosemary says she will be at Jean’s parole hearing in a year and she is hopeful the woman has learned from her mistakes. Despite what she did, Rosemary wants Jean to someday be there for her children.