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July 7, 2015

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Four, including wife, indicted in plot to kill Nellis airman

Arrests in Nellis Airman's Death

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A picture of Nathan Paet is displayed Tuesday afternoon at a memorial service held at Nellis chapel. Paet was shot and killed Dec. 1 outside of his home as he was preparing to go to work.

The four suspects in the alleged murder-for-hire plot of Nellis Airman Nathan Paet, which his wife is accused of helping plan, were indicted Tuesday by a Clark County Grand Jury.

Michael Rudolph Rodriguez, 31; Corry A. Hawkins, 33; Jessica A. Austin, 23; and Paet's 29-year-old wife, Michelle, were formally charged with conspiracy to commit murder and burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon and murder with use of a deadly weapon.

Rodriguez and Hawkins also have been charged with possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.

All four suspects remain in Clark County Detention Center without bail. Their arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Jan. 4.

Nathan Paet, 28, was shot and killed Dec. 1 after he opened his garage door to leave for work. He went back inside the home after the shooting, in the 9200 block of Alta Monte Court in southwest Las Vegas, where he collapsed.

According to arrest reports released earlier this month, Michelle Paet allegedly confessed to helping plan her husband's murder with Rodriguez because they wanted to pursue a romantic relationship.

Police determined from military officials that Michelle Paet would receive $400,000 upon the death of her husband. She claimed she would receive an additional $250,000 from another life insurance policy on her husband, according to the arrest reports.

"She admitted she and Rodriguez were romantically involved and planned to develop a relationship together after the murder of her husband," police wrote in an arrest report. "She and Rodriguez began talking about 'getting rid of' Nathan Paet for the insurance money as early as October 2010."

Michelle Paet had been text messaging Rodriguez prior to her husband's murder at their home.

When contacted by police, Rodriguez claimed he was "having sex with an ex-porn star" during the time of Nathan Paet's murder, according to the arrest reports. The reports allege the woman, who police have not identified, gave authorities the following version of events:

She said there was an ongoing plan to kill Nathan Paet that involved Rodriguez, Hawkins, Austin and Michelle Paet. The unidentified woman expected to receive 5 percent of the few thousand dollars Rodriguez was to earn for the murder, according to the report.

On the night of the murder, the woman said she, Austin, Hawkins and Rodriguez were at Austin and Hawkins' apartment in the 2500 block of North Green Valley Parkway in Henderson. Rodriguez and Hawkins then allegedly left to commit a robbery using Rodriguez's black Cadillac.

Meanwhile, Austin lit a fire in the apartment and the men burned their clothes when they returned.

Police said the unidentified woman went back to Austin and Hawkins' apartment the next day, where she noticed the smell of bleach. Rodriguez and Hawkins then destroyed their cell phones, along with the woman's, and told her to lie to police, the report says.

The woman told police Rodriguez allegedly admitted shooting Nathan Paet, and Hawkins admitted to being at the scene. Police said records and video surveillance from Sunset Station show Rodriguez and the woman checked in 40 minutes after the murder.

Police executed search warrants at Austin and Hawkins' apartment, at which point Austin allegedly told police she bought blue latex gloves and an air freshener at Walmart before the murder. She also allegedly told police Rodriguez burned his clothes in the fireplace.

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