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Couple to plead to killing car salesman

Couple to plead to killing car salesman

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Stacy and Eric Weischedel will plead guilty today to the kidnap and killing of Idaho car salesman Peter Stucky.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bernie Hubley filed his offer of proof against the Weischedels late Tuesday afternoon, and the Washington couple is scheduled to appear this morning before U.S. District Judge Don Molloy in Great Falls.

The Weischedels, who are being held in the Cascade County Jail, are accused of six crimes: conspiracy to kidnap, kidnapping resulting in a death, carjacking resulting in a death, using a firearm during a violent crime, interference with commerce by threats or violence, and transportation of a stolen vehicle.

The Weischedels were captured near Philipsburg on April 20, two days after they had kidnapped the 60-year-old Stucky from a Ford dealership in Lewiston, Idaho. After their arrests, Eric Weischedel led authorities to Stucky's body, which had been dumped on a forest road near Evaro.

In exchange for help locating Stucky, prosecutors in Washington, Idaho and Montana agreed that federal charges would be filed against the Weischedels and and that the death penalty would not be sought if they pleaded guilty.

Hubley will instead seek life sentences without parole. Molloy will set a sentencing date today.

According to Hubley's offer of proof, the Weischedels began a crime spree in Marcoloa, Ore., the week before Stucky's abduction. Along the way, they hatched a plan to steal a vehicle during a test drive.

"Discussed during the formulation of this plan was an intent to abduct the salesman, tie up the salesman and shoot the salesman," Hubley wrote. "The obvious purpose in such a plan was to intimidate and eliminate any witness to this crime."

During the test drive, Eric shot Stucky in the head with a .22-caliber pistol while Stacy drove the Ford 350 out of Lewiston. The Weischedels then put Stucky on the back floorboard, covered him with coats and headed for Spokane. They eventually made their way to Montana, where they dumped Stucky's body near Evaro and tried to use Stucky's credit card at Wal-Mart in Missoula.

They later drove to Drummond, where they used another stolen credit card to stay overnight at the Sky Motel. The next morning, the Weischedels and the stolen pickup were noticed by a Montana Highway Patrol officer on Interstate 90. A chase that took law enforcement through Anaconda and into Granite County began, and Eric Weischedel ditched the murder weapon while running from authorities.

The couple was caught the next day while hiding in a haystack. They have been in custody since their arrests.

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