BREAKING NEWS: Prison term in murder-for-hire case
The Lake of the Pines man who unsuccessfully tried to solicit his neighbor’s murder was sentenced to five years in state prison Monday.
William Weismann, 67, had the chance to retract his no contest plea on two charges of soliciting a murder and take the case to trial, but he accepted the prosecutor’s requested sentence instead.
He faced a maximum possible sentence of 11 years. The potential prison time was mitigated by factors such as Weismann’s lack of a criminal history and the fact the intended victim was uninjured, Assistant District Attorney Ronald Wolfson said.
“We believe five years is an appropriate sentence,” Wolfson said.
That sentence was also recommended by the probation department.
Weismann was arrested April 11, 2003, and accused of paying $5,000 to an undercover Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy to have his neighbor, Tom Wess Jr., killed.
Prosecutors said Weismann contacted deputy Scott Kolb after initially discussing the plan with another man, Lou Sans. Sans alerted authorities to the plot.
“Mr. Sans did the right thing,” Wolfson said. “He very well may have prevented a murder.”
Authorities have said Weismann wanted Wess dead because of an ongoing property dispute between the two. At one point, they served each other with restraining orders. Weismann also accused Wess of installing security cameras looking into Weismann’s property and of painting a red line between their properties.
Weismann’s daughter, Julie Weismann, said her father acted the way he did because he had been pressured by the Wesses.
“He was scared, confused and pushed to the point of no return, lost in a nightmare,” she said in an e-mailed statement Monday to The Union. “My father should be held accountable for the steps that he took. However, I don’t believe he deserved this. No matter what people think, he is not a nasty or violent man.”
She also said she was not surprised by the length of the sentence.
On Monday, Weismann and his attorney attempted to get a four-year sentence, but Wolfson turned it down, asking for five years. Weismann accepted.
“If only my parents had found their dream home on the other side of the lake,” Julie Weismann said.
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