|Published:||Jun 21, 2012 10:38 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jun 21, 2012 10:48 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla.- A Fort Myers chiropractor accused of hiring a hitman to kill her husband won't be heading to jail. The reason why, might surprise you.
WINK News was the only station in the courtroom today when the stunning plea deal took place.
Investigators said Kimberly Alters offered one of her patients a motorcycle if he killed her husband. But today her husband and their three children were in court begging for their mother to come home, and the charge of soliciation to commit murder was dropped.
Only WINK cameras were in the courtroom as Kimberly Alters' three children took the stand to defend their mother. "I wish that all charges be dropped. I think we suffered enough," said her daughter.
Investigators originally said the Fort Myers chiropractor offered one of her patients a Harley-Davidson motorcycle if he followed through with the crime of killing her own husband.
But the alleged victim himself also took the stand asking charges be dropped. "Through the discovery process new facts can come to light and can change the situation," said Assistant State Attorney Orion Wright.
He says because of this and other evidence, they reached a deal with the defense, dropping the solicitation to commit murder charge that would have put Alters behind bars.
"The state believes justice was done here," said Wright.
Instead, Alters pled no contest to lesser charges of possession of a firearm and controlled substance.
Her attorney Wilbur Smith says it's a step in the right direction. "She feels a big burden lifted off her shoulders - she's not being threatened by jail, she can go on with her life," Smith said.
But Alters can't return home just yet. She is under a strict no contact order. The judge needs medical proof before it's lifted. "Once we get a letter from her doctor she can reunite with her family. They, from day one, have not wanted their mother prosecuted," said Smith.
The family wouldn't speak on camera but says they are very upset at the judge over the no contact order.
Alters received 60 months of probation on each count to run concurrently. She also has to pay about $2,000 in fines and is now considered a convicted felon.
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