DA Says No Evidence of Domestic Violence in Murder-for-Hire Case
Sambides, Nick, Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME)
BROWNVILLE, Maine -- She talked about her husband being controlling, but police found nothing to suggest that murder-for- hire suspect Wendy S. Farley of Brownville suffered spousal abuse before she sought a hit man to kill her husband, the case's prosecutor said Friday.
"The evidence that we have at this point doesn't point to any domestic violence issues," said Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy.
Farley's husband, Luther "Rusty" Farley, should be considered a victim, not a perpetrator, Almy said.
The affidavit detailing the case against Farley, who remained Friday at the Piscataquis County Jail on $10,000 cash bail, details how police and the informant they wired, Michael Anderson of Milo, probed whether she or the Farleys' 13 children were domestic violence victims even before she was arrested. The 46-year-old farmer's wife was arrested and charged Tuesday with criminal solicitation for murder.
The affidavit shows that Anderson and the investigating officers struggled occasionally with a digital recorder they used to record Farley discussing her desire to have her husband killed in a sham hunting accident. At times she joked about it. Other times, she portrayed herself to Anderson as a victim of domestic stress, but not violence.
"She spoke matter-of-factly and her tone did not display any of the expected traits a reasonable person would expect based on the gravity and seriousness of the situation," Brownville police Special Investigator Chad Perkins wrote in a report included in the affidavit.
Anderson's recording of Wendy Farley on Sept. 18 had her bantering with him about "one of her children winning money at Wildwoods" and noted that "Farley's mood seemed light and she often laughs."
Anderson told Perkins during an interview on Sept. 13 that Farley came to his Milo home two days earlier and expressed worry that the man Anderson would hire to kill Luther Farley would try to extort more than $10,000 from her.
"Farley referred to it as the 'blackmail hassle,'" the affidavit states. "Anderson asked Farley if she would settle for just having her husband beat up and she stated that beating him up would not accomplish anything."
Farley came to Anderson's home in Milo "with five young girls in the vehicle and stated to him [Anderson] that she needed it done for the protection of the girls," the affidavit states.
"I asked [Anderson] if she had elaborated on what protection meant," Perkins wrote in the affidavit, "and he stated 'I guess because he [Luther Farley] is overprotective and won't let them do what they wanted to do."
According to the affidavit, Perkins immediately asked Anderson if Luther Farley's behavior was "typical of a conservative family or atypical and to the point where the children were not allowed normal contact" with others. Anderson answered that he thought Farley "was protective in a caring way" and from what Anderson knew of him, Farley "was an honest and sincere person."
Anderson called Luther Farley "quiet and soft-spoken" and answered more questions from Perkins by saying he had never seen Farley "display negative or over-reactive emotions with his children. …