CHEYENNE, Wyo. — A judge sentenced a Wyoming prison inmate Thursday to an additional 35 years behind bars for trying to hire a hit man to kill his mother and stepfather while incarcerated.
Andrew Silicani, 23, wanted to collect their life insurance and inherit their house, prosecutor said. U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal imposed the additional sentence, saying it was heartbreaking that Silicano wanted to kill his mother after she had supported him through a lifetime of mental health problems.
"For what? For a new car, 10 tattoos and for drugs?" the judge asked him. "To exchange a life for such juvenile desires is hard to comprehend."
Cheryl Lambert, Silicani's mother, told Freudenthal the sentencing hearing was the saddest day of her life. Lambert also said she and her husband, John Ott, feared Silicani would try to kill them again if he ever were released.
"You are my son and I love you forever," Lambert said. "Now my real grieving begins as I learn to let go of you, my son and my only child."
Silicani was serving five to seven years in state prison for two robbery convictions, including one in which a victim was stabbed, when he tried to arrange the murders for hire. He will serve the federal sentence after his state term, which expires at the latest in 2018.
According to an FBI agent's statement, a confidential source contacted the Rawlins prison where Silicani was being held in November to report that Silicani had asked if the source would be willing to kill Silicani's parents.
Another FBI agent began posing as the hit man and reported Silicani told him he didn't want to pay more than $100,000 for what he called "demolition work."
Silicani expected to receive $850,000 in life insurance and property, according to court records. The confidential source told law enforcement that Silicani said he planned to buy "a Cadillac Escalade, clothes and jewelry."
Silicani pleaded guilty in April to four counts of using the mail in trying to hire someone to carry out the murders. His attorney, James Barrett, said after Thursday's hearing that he planned to appeal the 35-year sentence.
Silicani, a slight man with sharp features and close-cropped black hair, stood Thursday before Freudenthal wearing orange jail clothing, shackled at the wrists and ankles. Addressing his parents, Silicani said, "Even if you don't believe me, I want you to know that I have no intention of hurting either of you."