Husband testifies in defense of wife accused of seeking hitman to kill him; closings to begin after lunch break

Posted March 21, 2014, at 12:19 p.m.
Last modified March 21, 2014, at 2:59 p.m.
Wendy Farley, 48, of Brownville waits Thursday for her trial to begin at the Piscataquis County Courthouse in Dover-Foxcroft. She is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband in September 2012.
Judy Harrison | BDN
Wendy Farley, 48, of Brownville waits Thursday for her trial to begin at the Piscataquis County Courthouse in Dover-Foxcroft. She is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband in September 2012.
Wendy Farley, 48, of Brownville and her attorney Peter Rodway of Portland wait Thursday for her trial to begin at the Piscataquis County Courthouse in Dover-Foxcroft. She is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband in September 2012.
Judy Harrison | BDN
Wendy Farley, 48, of Brownville and her attorney Peter Rodway of Portland wait Thursday for her trial to begin at the Piscataquis County Courthouse in Dover-Foxcroft. She is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband in September 2012.
Wendy Farley, 48, of Brownville and her attorney Peter Rodway of Portland wait Thursday for her trial to begin at the Piscataquis County Courthouse in Dover-Foxcroft. She is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband in September 2012.
Judy Harrison | BDN
Wendy Farley, 48, of Brownville and her attorney Peter Rodway of Portland wait Thursday for her trial to begin at the Piscataquis County Courthouse in Dover-Foxcroft. She is accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill her husband in September 2012.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Closing statements and jury instructions are to begin at noon in the Wendy Farley trial after jurors return from a lunch break.

Farley, 48, of Brownville is on trial at the Piscataquis County Courthouse on one count of criminal solicitation, a Class A crime. She is accused of trying to a hire a hitman, through Michael Anderson of Milo, in September 2012 to kill her husband.

Her trial began Thursday. The prosecution rested Friday after calling one witness. The defense rested after calling two witnesses, including Luther “Rusty” Farley, 53, of Brownville. Wendy Farley did not take the stand.

The defendant’s husband of nearly 30 years testified that he reacted with “shock, surprise and disbelief” when his wife was arrested for trying to hire a hitman to kill him. He described her as a good wife and the mother of the couple’s 13 children, now ages 7 to 28.

Luther Farley did not look at his wife during his hour-long testimony. She appeared to be staring at him from her seat at the defense table.

He said the couple tried to live a self-sustaining lifestyle. They grew their own food, kept chickens, pigs and cows for beef and milk. Luther Farley said that his wife cared for the children and home schooled them. He said that she took care of the chores inside the home and he did much of the work outside.

“It was a simpler way for us to live and a way to economize,” he said of their lifestyle.

Luther Farley said that their eldest child, Caleb Farley, now 28, suffered a traumatic brain injury on Jan. 20, 2012, when he crashed his truck on Interstate 95. Luther Farley said their son was in intensive care at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor for three weeks and in the hospital’s rehabilitation center until March of that year.

Wendy Farley was at EMMC almost constantly when their son was in ICU and three days each week while he was in rehab. Luther Farley said that in the summer of 2012, his wife seemed to change. She began chewing on her hair and sleeping during the day.

“I thought things were good,” he said when asked to assess his marriage.

Anderson, 51, testified Thursday that Wendy Farley approached him about finding someone to kill her husband. With the help of local police, Anderson recorded a Sept. 18, 2012, conversation he had on his back porch with her while the recording device was hidden in his work boot.

The 39-minute recording was played Thursday for the jury.

“Nothing fancy, nothing stupid, nothing traceable,” Wendy Farley said on the recording. “Once it’s done, I don’t want someone coming back at me wanting more money.”

Anderson testified that Farley was specific about what she wanted, including the weapon — a .30-.30 rifle — that should be used.

One shot, drop him,” she said on the recording played for jurors. “Don’t go back for a second shot. That doesn’t look like a hunting accident.”

Taylor Renner, 18, of Dover-Foxcroft testified Friday for the defense. She said that in September 2012 she was having trouble with her then-boyfriend when she lived in Milo. Renner said that she called Anderson’s cab company and during the conversation Anderson offered to “get rid of” him for her.

Renner said that Anderson was known around Milo as “Mafia Mike” and had a reputation for being the kind of guy people might go to if they were seeking out a hitman.

Wendy Farley has been free on $10,000 cash bail since Nov. 9, 2012. Bail conditions allow her to have supervised contact with her minor children but no contact with her husband. The couple is separated, according to Rodway.

If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up $50,000.

Watch bangordailynews.com for updates.

 

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