GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – A jury convicted a man of trying to persuade his girlfriend to kill his ex-wife, then trying to hire a hit man from behind bars to kill both.
Stuart Shader, 35, was found guilty Friday of three counts of soliciting to commit first-degree murder and two counts of attempting to commit murder. He faces up to 24 years in prison on each of the five counts when sentenced Sept. 15.
Last year, Shader wanted his then-girlfriend Shawna Nelson, who practiced witchcraft, to sneak into his ex-wife's house and put pits of the poisonous belladonna plant into a can of ground coffee, according to court records. He told Nelson he'd "understand" if she chose to kill herself or go to Mexico afterward.
Nelson went to the authorities instead, and Shader landed in jail. There he tried to have both of them killed, prosecutors said. An inmate tipped investigators, so when Shader thought he was hiring an Aryan Brotherhood hit man, he was really dealing with an undercover police officer.