SHARON Collins, the 45-year-old Co. Clare woman who plotted to kill her lover, as reported in the Irish Voice last week, faces between 10 and 60 years in jail, following her conviction on several charges sparked by greed.She was convicted on six charges -- each of which carries a 10-year-term - linked to the crime. Sentencing has been put back to October when the Central Criminal Court in Dublin will decide how much time she should serve on each conviction and whether the sentences should run consecutively or concurrently.Irish courts have a tradition of imposing concurrent sentences so Collins could escape with a maximum 10 years for soliciting 52-year-old Egyptian-born Essam Eid to kill P.J. Howard and his sons, Robert and Niall, between August 1, 2006, and September 26, 2006.However, the jury was undecided on whether Eid -- who, the prosecution claimed, also represented himself on an Internet site as a hitman called Tony Luciano -- was guilty of conspiring to murder the three men.Eid, a former Las Vegas poker-dealer, was found guilty of attempting to extort $157,000 from Robert Howard to call off the "hit," and of two counts of handling stolen property. Eid was, like Collins, remanded in custody to await sentence in October.For eight weeks, Ireland was fascinated as amazing details unfolded in court of how Collins wanted rid of Howard and his sons so she could claim his $19 million fortune which included a luxury home in Co. Clare and a yacht on the Mediterranean off the south of Spain.The trial heard that she paid up a $24,000 deposit after contacting Eid on the website www.hitman.com. It was said she used an Internet login, lyingeyes, a claim she denied. The prosecution also suggested a second motive for Collins wanting to have Howard killed was that he wanted her to pick up strangers for sex.The Garda (police) investigation concentrated mainly on retrieving vital e-mails from laptops and computers used by Collins, and from a computer retrieved from Eid's Las Vegas home by the FBI.Detectives trawled through phone records and discovered that the two had made contact almost 50 times by cell phone.With help from Yahoo!, cops were able to retrieve a string of e-mails that established Collins was lyingeyes and that Eid responded to her e-mails using the alias Tony Luciano.The e-mails asked Eid/Luciano to kill Howard's two sons first and make it look like an accident. Howard was then to be done away with in such a way that it seemed he had thrown himself from the roof of his Spanish apartment in despair at losing his sons.The e-mails were damning for Collins. Her only explanation was that she was being blackmailed by a Maria Marconi, a "writing mentor" that cops believe was a fictional character.
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