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Woman who killed husband pleads guilty in murder plot against lover

Robin Wagner Kalinowski pleaded guilty Wednesday to trying to have her former lover killed just prior to the first of her two trials for killing her husband.

The 44-year-old mother of two accepted a prosecution plea deal as jury selection was about to begin before State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang at what would have been her third jury trial stemming from the November 2005 murder of her sleeping husband, Kevin.

In a low voice, Kalinowski pleaded guilty to a single count of second-degree conspiracy and admitted that she had agreed in April 2008, during talks at the Erie County Holding Center, to pay a hit man -- who turned out to be an undercover state trooper -- to kill John F. Carey.

The judge committed to imposing a six- to 12-year prison term, which will run concurrently with the sentence of 25 years to life that Senior Erie County Judge Michael L. D'Amico imposed Feb. 25 on her second-degree murder conviction Jan 14.

Kalinowski appeared to be on the verge of tears as she pleaded guilty Wednesday.

She has been in custody since her November 2007 indictment in the Nov. 10, 2005, fatal shooting of her 41-year-old husband as he slept in their bed at their Rosedale Street home. The couple were the parents of two teenage boys.

John K. Jordan, Kalinowski's lawyer, told the judge he had advised her to accept the plea deal because, if convicted of conspiracy and a related charge of criminal solicitation after a third jury trial, she would face a prison term of 37 1/2 years to life.

Under the plea deal on conspiracy, if Kalinowski's appellate attorneys can persuade the state's higher courts to overturn her murder conviction, she still would have to serve the full six- to 12-year conspiracy sentence Wolfgang will impose Oct. 14.

e-mail: mgryta@buffnews.com

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