Stakelbeck's victims speak out at court hearing


by WHAS editors

Posted on May 28, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 28 at 8:24 PM

Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Elizabeth Stakelbeck was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday. 

Stakelbeck solicitied an undercover FBI agent to kill her ex-husband and his current wife.  She offered up drugs to the undercover cop as payment.

Stakelbeck gave a tearful apology in court.

“To say that I lost my way, would be an understatement," she said. 

Stakelbeck told the court, at the time, she had a problem with prescription drug abuse.

“I was in such a nightmare for such a long, long time. I didn't know how to get off the train wreck I was in," she said.

Prosecutor Leland Hulbert said Stakelbeck’s statement was typical. 

“I think that's an excuse for 70 to 80 percent of the cases that come through our office," Hulbert said.

In testimony, Stakelbeck pleaded for mercy and said that she has changed since being incarcerated.  She said 9 months ago she had lost all of her humanity.

“If someone, if one person, let alone two people had been hurt or even killed at my expense or because of my command, because I felt that I needed to play God, I wouldn't be able to live with myself," she said. 

Stakelbeck's attorney maintained that her client was acting under a motherly instinct to protect her child.

"In her mind, her child was being harmed, she couldn't stop it, she was helpless.  She was desperate,” she said.

Her victims said they still live in constant fear and dread forever.

“Elizabeth not only wanted me dead, she wanted to orphan my youngest daughter,” the new wife of Stakelbeck’s ex-husband said. "My wedding pictures were used to identify us to the hit man, pictures that I should look at and remember the happiest day of my life are now marked with her intentions to kill us."

Stakelbeck’s ex-husband detailed how Stakelbeck made relentless attempts to contact child protective services to gain custody of their daughter.  He says the murder-for-hire plot was one last ditch effort. 

"With each unsuccessful attempt, Elizabeth adapted and reformed the next offensive to do more and more damage until finally her only option was to end our lives,” he said.

Stakelbeck's ex-husband said his only peace is knowing the woman who wanted him dead is behind bars. 

“Instead of anticipating a call from CPS, I carry a gun in my vehicle,” he says, “I constantly watch my rearview mirror and frequently take alternating routes to work.”

According to the prosecutor, Stakelbeck will be able to file for shock probation in 180 days. She will be parole eligible in about three years.