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Woman accused of plotting to kill husband

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Nathan Paet's body arrives on Guam last night Nathan Paet's body arrives on Guam last night
Nathan Paet's body arrives on Guam last night Nathan Paet's body arrives on Guam last night
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Michelle Chaco Paet's drivers license picture Michelle Chaco Paet's drivers license picture

by Mindy Aguon

Guam - Money, drugs, an ex-porn star, and a love affair...all insidious details in the murder of an Air Force member from Guam stationed in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The latest development today is that U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Nathan Paet's wife, Michelle Chaco Paet, was arrested by police and placed on suicide watch.

Life insurance money valued at $650,000 appeared to be the motive behind a plot to kill Nathan Paet. Three people, arrested by Las Vegas police earlier this week, and Nathan's wife, are being held without bail accused of planning the airman's murder.  

Las Vegas Metro Police arrested 29-year-old Michelle Chaco Paet, formerly of Santa Rita, today, charging her in connection with the shooting death of her husband, Air Force Staff Sergeant Nathan Paet. Michelle was charged with murder with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit burglary. Her arrest is the fourth Las Vegas police have made since Paet's murder a week ago. 

Michael Rudolph Rodriguez, Corry Hawkins and Jessica Austin remain behind bars on murder and conspiracy charges. The arrest report details the specifics of the plot to kill Nathan Paet and includes a confession from Michelle, Austin and an unidentified woman.

Michelle Paet is also under a suicide watch.

Police learned through Michelle's statements that she had been plotting to have her husband killed since October. The arrest report states that she sought help from her co-worker, Rodriguez, who she was romantically involved with.  Rodriguez told Michelle he could get someone else to help him for $200,000.

The initial plan to get rid of Nathan Paet included her husband being shot in his car that would be parked in an abandoned location, covered with a car cover to conceal the presence of a body.  The plan fell through and instead Michelle sent coded text messages to Rodriguez as her husband prepared to go to work. The messages stated, "Sorry too my meds and was asleep. My husband just woke me up and he's trying to rush out the door. I guess he's late. Lol.", and " Sorry that contract is a pain". Another said, "Can't go back to sleep right now. Got woken up from a man screaming I'm late. He's rushing to get out the door lol."  That text was sent 5-6 minutes before Nathan Paet opened his garage door and was shot multiple times.

Police say the motive was insurance money as Michelle stood to receive $400,000 from the Air Force and another $250,000 from another life insurance policy in the event of her husband's death. Las Vegas Metro Police Lieutenant Lew Roberts said, "That did come up in the course of our investigation. We had received some information on that, but again that's stuff that we are trying to confirm and verify."

When Rodriguez was interviewed by police, he said he was sleeping with an ex-porn star at the Sunset Station Hotel and Casino. It was that woman he referred police to that further revealed the plot to kill Nathan and the wife's involvement. She said Rodriguez admitted to shooting the victim and Hawkins had accompanied him. Austin later admitted to police that she had burned the two men's clothing after the murder and cleaned up their apartment to hide any evidence of the shooting.

For neighbors of the Paets, the murder and Michelle Paet's arrest comes as a shock their normally quiet neighborhood. Joseph Holder said, "I'm just sad to hear something like that, somebody serving our country, it's horrible," with Juliette Macias adding, "I would never suspect her to be involved. She never seemed like she did anything wrong."

Paet's family has declined interviews, asking for privacy as they grieve. They have expressed appreciation for the support from the community. KUAM News has been told they want to wait for the facts of the tragic event to come to light before they make any comments.

Nathan Paet's body was brought back to Guam last night. It was a private family event, with Andersen Air Force Base's honor guard transferring custody of the staff sergeant's remains to the funeral home representative. The funeral is expected to be held sometime next week.

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