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December 31, 1999
Woman Sentenced For Plotting Husband's Death
R S Shankar
Prosecutors in a Boston court wanted a stiffer sentence for the 24-year-old woman convicted of hiring a hit-man to murder her estranged husband to gain custody of their 3-year-old son.
They urged the judge to slap Dhanmatie Gaya with a five-year-sentence, but Suffolk Superior Court Judge Carol S Ball ordered her to serve 18 months to two years in prison.
Meanwhile, the husband vowed to get the permanent custody of the child who is in temporary custody of his mother-in-law.
According to the prosecutors, Gaya and her boyfriend, Jacques Evans, looked around for a hit-man last February to murder Bougnarine Gaya.
The police learned of the plot through the hit-man and worked on a sting operation.
Dhanmatie Gaya admitted in the court to paying Antonio Duncan to kill her husband on the day the couple was to appear in the court to settle a long and nasty custody battle.
The boyfriend, who allegedly assisted in the botched plot, will go to trial on February 22 on murder conspiracy charges.
The judge apparently took a sympathetic view of Dhanmatie Gaya's plot as she showed contrition in the court.
But the officials took another view.
"She was the mastermind and the impetus for this whole plan,'' Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Jeffrey Karp said of Gaya.
Gaya, who migrated to America from Guyana a few years ago, paid Duncan $ 5,000, but he spent the money on household goods and went to the police. Officials said he was given immunity.
"He agreed to (do the killing) but aborted as the date drew closer," Karp told reporters. "He stole $ 5,000 from her.''
When an undercover detective met Gaya along with Duncan, she told the pair to "take care'' of her ex-husband "right away.''
"Karp said the Boston police had worked hard to unravel the plot and Gaya deserved stiffer punishment.
"Something more tragic could have happened," he said, if the police had not acted with alacrity.
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