Criminal Justice

Lawyer Guilty in Failed Contract Hit on Wife Gets 50 Years; They Both Say Feds Framed Him


Federal prosecutors were seeking a 50-year sentence today for a lawyer in northern Idaho who was convicted of trying to arrange a contract hit on his wife, and they got it.

Both Edgar J. Steele, 65, and his wife, Cyndi, who survived the failed attempt when an undetonated pipe bomb was found under her vehicle during an oil change, say the attorney was framed by the feds because he represented the Aryan Nations, the Associated Press reports.

In addition to the FBI, Steele also blamed the Anti-Defamation League and the Russian Mafia, KXLY reports.

However, Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill rejected these claims of prosecutorial misconduct by Steele in a written opinion yesterday, saying that he had plenty of opportunity to raise them in the Coeur d’Alene trial of the case, KIVI reports.

The Coeur d’Alene Press and the Spokesman-Review also had stories, prior to the sentencing.

Cyndi Steele is not the only lawyer’s wife to stand by her man even after allegedly being targeted by him for a contract hit: Despite three alleged attempts to shoot her to death, which the government contends were set up by her husband, Yvonne Stern is still living with Texas personal injury attorney Jeffrey Stern.

His solicitation of capital murder case has not yet been tried. Stern admits he was having an affair but says he was not part of any plot against his wife.

A hung jury resulted in a mistrial earlier this month of an alleged gunman accused of attempted capital murder in the Stern case, as a KPRC article details.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Fed’l Jury Convicts Lawyer of Hiring Hitman to Kill His Wife with Pipe Bomb”

ABAJournal.com: “Wife & Alleged Victim of Lawyer Accused in Contract Hit Case Holds His Hand En Route to Court”

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