PONTIAC -- A Cullom man was convicted Tuesday of trying to hire a hit man to kill his ex-wife and her boyfriend last summer.
Shan Fieldman, 40, was charged with two counts of solicitation of murder for hire, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years per count.
Retired Illinois State Police Sgt. Earl Candler testified in the two-day trial that he posed as a hit man and met with Fieldman in the Pontiac Walmart on July 23, 2010. A 56-minute video of that meeting at which Fieldman and Candler discuss the potential hit was played for the jury.
"Just make sure they are not living after it's done," Fieldman is heard saying on the video. "It doesn't matter how it's done."
Also in the video, Fieldman agrees to pay Candler $4,500 to kill Shelly Fieldman of Dwight and an additional $3,000 if her boyfriend, Allan Chrossfield, also of Dwight, also was killed. Fieldman is shown paying $100 to the undercover agent.
Shan Fieldman's children, 11 and 13, live with the Dwight couple. He told Candler the couple likes to spend time in their garage, and it was likely the children would find the bodies.
"If they end up finding them, then I will deal with that at that time," Fieldman says on the tape. "There will be trauma either way."
Fieldman testified on his own behalf and said he never intended to have his ex-wife and her boyfriend killed. He met with Candler because of a previous conversation he had with an acquaintance who had indicated she knew people who would kill people for money.
He told the jury he was conducting a sting operation of his own and was going to turn in the guilty parties.
"I went to that meeting to get some evidence," he said.
He said he planned to go to the police with the information the following day, but he was arrested about 90 minutes after the meeting.
In his closing arguments, Assistant State's Attorney Cary Luckman said the 56-minute video held all of the evidence needed to convict Fieldman. In addition to the video, Fieldman wrote three pages of notes on a pad describing the victims, their address and other pertinent information.
He also wrote an IOU for $7,400 to Candler.
"This was better than TV," Luckman said. "It was reality and you can see that he is utterly remorseless."
It took the jury a little more than an hour to return the verdict.
"I believe this jury took this case very seriously, weighed the evidence and came back with the right verdict," he said.
The sentencing is set for July 27.