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Plea reached in murder-for-hire

The Union file photoWilliam Weismann is led into court earlier this year for a preliminary hearing. He recently pleaded no contest to two charges of soliciting the murder of his neighbor in Lake of the Pines.
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William Weismann, the Lake of the Pines man accused of trying to have his neighbor killed by a hit man, has pleaded no contest to two counts of soliciting a murder.

Weismann reached the deal late last week during a settlement hearing, according to Nevada County Superior Court records. He remains held at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility without bail.

His trial, scheduled to begin Dec. 2, has been canceled. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Superior Court Judge Albert P. Dover on Jan. 12. Under California statutes, Weismann could face as many as nine years in prison for each of the charges.

Weismann, 66, was arrested April 11 after he paid $5,000 to an undercover Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy to have his neighbor, Tom Wess Jr., killed.

Prosecutors said Weismann contacted Scott Kolb after initially discussing the plan with real estate agent Lou Sans, who alerted authorities to the murder-for-hire plot.

Authorities said the murder plan evolved from an ongoing and heated property dispute between Wess and Weismann. The two at one point served each other with restraining orders. Lake of the Pines security officers and sheriff’s deputies had been called several times to mediate disputes between the two. Weismann also accused Wess of installing security cameras looking into Weismann’s property and of painting a red line between their properties, among numerous conflagrations between the two.

Weismann’s daughter, Julie, said her father feared for his life during his ongoing dispute with Wess and should have been out on bail a long time ago.

“Any other county in the state, my father would have been out on bail and received one to two years,” she said from her Pacifica home. “I’m not happy with it at all, (but) given this is Nevada County, with these judges, he got the best deal he could.”

In October, a civil lawsuit brought by Tom Wess’ family against the Weismanns was dropped after the family complained Weismann’s attorneys were seeking too many documents related to the civil case.

Weismann’s San Jose-based attorney, James Roberts, was unavailable for comment Wednesday. Prosecutor Ronald Wolfson was in court throughout the day for a trial and could not be reached for comment on the Weismann plea.

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