(LAS VEGAS) -- A Las Vegas woman accused of conspiring to kill her then-estranged husband testified that she had wished the man was dead but only out of frustration over alleged abuse by him during their marriage.
Amy Bessey, 43, is accused of planning to kill Robert Bessey in a botched November 2012 drive-by shooting carried out by her brother and son. Amy Bessey faces up to 91 years in prison if she's convicted of the seven charges against her, including attempted murder, solicitation to commit murder and conspiracy. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Bessey took the stand Monday afternoon and told jurors that she never asked anyone to kill her husband, but did say out loud that she wished he was dead.
"I was fed up. I just wanted it to be done. I just said it. I wish he was dead," Bessey testified.
Robert Bessey was shot in the neck shortly before his divorce to Amy was to be finalized and before he was able to change the beneficiary of the $250,000 life insurance policy.
Amy Bessey described her ex-husband as a violent man. She also suggested if she had wanted to kill him, she could have.
"He took his fist to my face. He took his knee to my rib," Amy Bessey said, describing one of the alleged instances she was abused. "I grabbed my purse and walked out the door."
"Was there a firearm in that purse?" defense attorney Augustus Claus asked.
"Yes," Bessey replied.
Last week during his testimony, Robert Bessey described the same fight as, "I was in bed. Amy came in. There was pushing and hitting. I pushed her. She hit me."
Prosecutors say Amy Bessey enlisted the help of her son, Michael Bessey, 22, and her brother, Richard Pearson, to kill her husband as he drove south on Interstate 15 near Las Vegas on Nov. 14, 2012.
The couple had been married for 18 years and had three kids together. Prior to their marriage, they each had two children from prior relationships. Michael Bessey is Amy's biological son, whom Robert adopted two years after they were married.
Robert Bessey also described the shooting during his testimony that he was driving his usual route to work at 4:35 a.m. when a gunshot erupted from a gold SUV.
"I felt a hot sensation here and towards the back of my neck. I start feeling what I believe to be a bullet," Bessey told the court. "This is my sweatshirt. You can see the hole in the neck."
Prosecutor Sam Martinez said Pearson sent his sister a text message hours before the alleged shooting that read, "I love it when a plan comes together."
One piece of evidence that prosecutors say is vital to the case is gas station surveillance video that captured Bessey's brother and son not far from the scene of the shooting in a gold SUV that police say was tied to the incident.
Richard Pearson and Michael Bessey face trial Feb. 24 on similar charges. Pearson and Bessey have pleaded not guilty.
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