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Man who plotted murder from inside jail sentenced to at least 7 years

A man who orchestrated an elaborate murder and extortion plot from within the walls of the county jail was given a sentence the judge acknowledged was mild yesterday because his ex-girlfriend – the woman he intended to have killed until his plan was foiled by another inmate – agreed to it.

“To some extent you have your victim to thank for this sentence being what it is instead of more serious,” Merrimack County Superior Court Judge Larry Smukler told Brian Schultz as he ordered him to serve between seven and 20 years at the state prison.

The term – with credit given for the 13 months Schultz has been incarcerated since he was charged with conspiracy to commit murder in May 2012 – means 66-year-old Schultz will be eligible for parole just before his 73rd birthday. Prosecutor David Rotman said that will keep Schultz behind bars for most of his remaining “productive years.”

Schultz has also been ordered not to use a computer for the entirety of his 20-year sentence. The police have said he placed a bug on his ex-girlfriend’s computer to obtain information for an extortion scheme involving the men he claimed she was sleeping with as a prostitute.

He’s also been banned from having any contact with children under 16 without prior permission, an inclusion officials from the county attorney’s office declined to elaborate on other than to say many factors, including a person’s criminal history, are taken into account when considering a sentence. Schultz’s criminal history includes a 1991 conviction in Concord’s U.S. District Court for distributing large quantities of child pornography across New England.

Schultz is required to register as a sex offender because of that earlier conviction.

The police said he was failing to keep his record updated in late 2011 while living in Pembroke. His ex-girlfriend, a now 49-year-old woman from Belmont who told the Monitor she met Schultz on sugardaddy.com, turned him in. Schultz was sentenced to serve nine months at the county jail in Boscawen, officials said.

There, Schultz befriended an inmate identified in
court documents as J.K. That man has told the Monitor
that Schultz’s plan started small with hacking into the woman’s computer, but
that he quickly began to talk about murdering her and extorting her clients. The informant was set to be released before Schultz and said he was promised $5,000 to carry out the plan.

The man said he never intended to follow through with the plot and eventually wore a body wire to record his conversations with Schultz.

“I basically said, ‘Okay, let’s recap everything. I want to make sure I have what you want me to do, meticulous,’ ” the informant said. “(Schultz) loves to talk. He’s one of those people that if you stand there and just look at him, he’ll talk to just talk.”

Schultz was arrested a few weeks after the man said he gave the wire back to the state police.

Yesterday, that informant’s credibility – and the risk of taking the case to trial – were mentioned by the prosecutor when he explained his requested sentence.

“If this case were to go to trial, it would certainly be possible the jury would respond negatively to a key state witness . . . whose own motivations and actions would be questioned,” Rotman said.

The informant, who told the Monitor he wasn’t promised anything in exchange for his cooperation on the investigation, claims to have worked as a jailhouse informant on three other cases.

Smukler said yesterday that the negotiated plea deal agreed to by the prosecutor and Schultz’s lawyer “would be lenient under other circumstances” but was acceptable considering several factors of the case, including the victim’s agreement.

That woman, who has denied working as a prostitute, said after the hearing that she wanted to “get this done and over with for everybody.”

“And just to move on,” she added.

In spite of the fact
that Schultz could be released from prison in his early 70s, the woman said she’s not concerned for her safety because of the attention investigators and the county prosecutor have given to this case.

“I’m more worried that he’s going to do the same thing while he’s in prison than out of prison,” she said. “Hopefully he’s learned his lesson and won’t do it again.”

(Tricia L. Nadolny can be reached at 369-3306 or
tnadolny@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @tricia_nadolny.)

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