Fate finally caught up to Jessee, Aehlert and Schrauben in 2007, when sheriff's homicide detectives won a detailed confession from Schrauben in exchange for a generous plea bargain. Jessee and Aehlert stood trial in 2009 and narrowly escaped spending the rest of their lives in a California prison because of an 11-1 guilty verdict. Afterwards, Aehlert confessed his role in the plot and named his mother as the mastermind in the death of his stepfather. Jessee is on trial now and will need to overcome damning testimony from Schrauben and Aehlert.
During that period, the people allegedly involved in the conspiracy plot--Jessee, Thomas Aehlert, Brett Schrauben and Thomas Joseph Garrick--happily used about $600,000 from the dead man's life insurance proceeds and savings to buy homes, adult toys, Las Vegas gambling trips and narcotics. One, Garrick, even used his murder fee to fix methamphetamine-destroyed teeth, according to court records.
Murray made his case based partly on the testimony of Schrauben and Sandra Jessee's son, Thomas Dayton Aehlert, who both made plea bargain deals with prosecutors.