Local News

Valley woman suspected of plotting hit on husband

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - A Spokane Valley woman, accused of trying to hire an old classmate to kill her husband, said she was doing it to try and escape an abusive relationship.

Martie Soderberg, 39, is being held on a $1 million bond, charged with First Degree Solicitation to Commit Murder. She was arrested Monday night after a nearly week-long investigation.

The investigation began Oct. 11, when an old classmate called deputies after meeting with Soderberg. He told them she had asked him to kill her husband.

According to court documents, the classmate told deputies he and Soderberg had recently reconnected on Facebook. The two grew up together in Colville and dated for a couple weeks in high school. He said they hadn't seen each other since. That's when they agreed to meet.

The two were supposed to meet Oct. 10, but he slept through his alarm, and they met the morning of Oct. 11 instead at the parking lot of Jack in the Box on N. Pines.

"They had started communicating recently on social media and had decided to meet up that day just to kind of talk about old times," said Deputy Mark Gregory with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office.

But the conversation turned to the present and the topic of Soderberg's marriage.

"She started to explain that she was unhappy in her marriage of 15 years and that it had become physically and verbally abusive and that she wanted her husband gone," Gregory said.

Court documents say Soderberg laid out two plans for her friend. In the first plan, he could murder her husband while they were taking their children out trick-or-treating Halloween night. The second plan was for Soderberg's classmate to kill her husband while he was away for work, possibly at a rest stop. She explained that would be the "better" plan, since in addition to a $300,000 life insurance payout, she would also get $2,200 a month for L&I payments. Documents say she also thought if the crime happened away from her, she would look less suspicious.

Soderberg said she would offer her friend, who was homeless, a place to live with someone she knew in Hillyard until the murder was carried out.

That's when Soderberg's friend told her he wasn't feeling well and left. He immediately called deputies and told them of her plan.

Deputies met with her friend and told him to wear a wire to record his conversations with Soderberg.

During those conversations, court documents say Soderberg discussed how she would get rid of the murder weapon. She told her friend in the back of a vehicle would be cement mix, water and a bucket. She said he could put the cement, which they would bury on a piece of property she bought with the life insurance money. She also told her friend she would have an extra set of clothes for him.

Soderberg said she wanted the murder completed by sometime in November.

The two met another time, when Soderberg's friend told her he found someone who could sell them a revolver for $50. Soderberg picked up her friend and the two drover to the Walmart parking lot at 15727 E. Broadway. She paid her friend the $50, who took the money to nearby deputies.

Since money had been exchanged, Soderberg was arrested by deputies and charged with Solicitation To Commit Murder in the First Degree.