A Las Vegas woman on trial for directing her brother and son to murder her estranged husband was described Wednesday as a ‘scorned woman’ who wanted to cash in on the man’s $250,000 insurance policy.
In the first day of her attempted murder and conspiracy trial, prosecutors said Amy Bessey planned the November 2012 hit on husband, Robert Bessey, just days before their divorce finalized so she could access the pile of cash, and hopefully his social security benefits too.
The 43-year-old had also allegedly started a romantic relationship with her biological son, Michael Bessey, 21, whom her ex-husband adopted as a child, and this is believed to be another reason she wanted him out of the way.
Bessey faces up to 91 years in prison if she’s convicted of the eight charges against her, which include attempted murder and conspiracy. She has pleaded not guilty in the case.
Bessey survived the attempt on his life and testified in his ex-wife’s trial.
He said he was driving his usual route to work at 4:35 a.m. November 14 when a gunshot came from a gold SUV.
‘I felt a hot sensation here and towards the back of my neck. I start feeling what I believe to be a bullet,’ Bessey told the court. ‘This is my sweatshirt. You can see the hole in the neck.’
The couple had been married for 18 years and had three kids together. They each had two children from prior relationships and Bessey adopted Amy Bessey’s biological son Michael two years after they were married.
Robert Bessey also testified Wednesday that Michael had been pulling away from him to be closer to his wife after he returned from the military months before the shooting.
Bessey said Michael’s move back into the home after he was dishonorably discharged caused friction between him and his wife. He said he noticed Michael’s relationship with his mother had changed.
‘They seemed to be closer or adult conversation, rather than mother-son,’ Bessey testified.
Amy Bessey was arrested in January for allegedly orchestrating the drive-by shooting after and her son began their romantic relationship.
Robert Bessey was struck in the neck by the bullet but he survived and identified the SUV as belonging to Richard Pearson’s girlfriend.
Michael Bessey and Pearson were charged in the murder plot last year, but police only implicated Amy Bessey in January after her son told his cellmate that she had been involved.
She was arrested by Las Vegas police on charges of attempted murder, battery and conspiracy to commit murder against her husband, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Robert Bessey told detectives that his wife and son’s ‘close’ relationship had prompted the divorce, while Michael Bessey’s ex-girlfriend said Amy was also the reason they had broken up.
Relatives claimed the pair had an ‘unnatural relationship’ and one friend said they would go to nightclubs together and ‘grab each other’s buttocks’, police said.
Robert Bessey also told police that he had read a letter his son had written to his wife from jail which said: ‘I miss touching you’.
The man added that his wife and son both had made various statements wishing he were dead.
Their trial is scheduled for February 2014.