A former lawyer cried as she pleaded guilty Monday for her role in a home invasion and attack on her ex-boss and his wife, a crime for which her husband is already serving life in prison.
Alecia Schmuhl, of Springfield, Virginia, pleaded guilty to five charges in the case. The 2014 attack was an act of revenge against her former boss, who had fired her from his law firm weeks earlier, prosecutors said.
Monday, Alecia Schmuhl pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated malicious wounding, two counts of abduction, and one count of burglary with a deadly weapon. She cried as she pleaded guilty to each charge.
Her plea deal sets a possible sentence range of 10 to 45 years in prison. Without a plea, she could have received life in prison like her husband.
The prosecutors told the judge that both victims supported the terms of her plea deal.
"Tt was after giving strong consideration to the victim's wishes in this case regarding the trials and tribulations of a second trial and the prospect of having to go thru a second trial and testify," said Casey Lingan, chief deputy in the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney.
Prosecutors said in November 2014, Schmuhl's husband, Andrew Schmuhl, broke into the McLean home of lawyer Leo Fisher and his wife, Sue Duncan, and held them captive for three hours as he shot, stabbed and shocked them with a Taser.
Prosecutors said Alecia Schmuhl was just outside the home during the attack, communicating by phone with her husband. The victims were critically injured in the attack.
Fisher said he was in and out of consciousness but remembers his wife covered in blood while they struggled to call 911. Finally, Duncan was able to hit a panic alarm, and Andrew Schmuhl fled.
Andrew Schmuhl was convicted in June and sentenced earlier this month to two life terms plus 98 years.
Fisher has previously said that the brutal attack left both him and his wife with permanent scars and impairments.
"I've never been a person who hated before, and I hate now," he said.
Duncan has constant nightmares about someone trying to kill her, her husband said.
"I just don't want this guy and his wife, these two monsters, to ever do this to anyone else again," Fisher told jurors during Andrew Schmuhl's trial.
Alecia Schmuhl is scheduled for sentencing for two days on Jan. 18-19.