NEWTON -- A Waltham man who hired a Dracut man to commit a homicide pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in a retrial 10 years after he was first convicted, authorities said.
James Brescia, 59, of Waltham had been convicted on murder and conspiracy charges in June 2008 after an investigation indicated he hired Scott Foxworth, 65, of Dracut to murder a Framingham man. Authorities alleged that Brescia hired Foxworth in 2006 to target Edward Schiller, 39, who had been in a relationship with Brescia's estranged wife.
In May 2015, the state's Supreme Judicial Court decided that Brescia could receive a new trial, but Brescia pleaded guilty this week before the jury could rule, according to a press release from the Middlesex District Attorney's office.
Brescia was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Foxworth was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy in June 2009 and had been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
"What cannot be forgotten in this case is that no monetary value can be placed on a human life," said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan in a press release. "The defendant felt that if he paid enough money, if he worked to conceal his actions, he would be able to get away with the murder of Edward Schiller without consequence. While no prison sentence can ever make up for the profound loss of Ed Schiller, it is our sincerest hope that this plea will bring some comfort to those who knew and loved him.
Schiller was killed on Jan. 13, 2006. In the Thursday press release, the DA's office said he was sitting in his car in his Newton office's parking lot around 7:45 a.m. when he was shot. Coworkers, concerned that he had not arrived, checked the car and located Schiller's body in his car. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and police determined no valuables had been taken from the car.
An investigation uncovered that Schiller had "rekindled" a relationship with a woman he had previously dated who was also Brescia's estranged wife, according to the press release. The woman had sought a divorce from Brescia, and authorities said the defendant made multiple comments to his estranged wife threatening Schiller.
The DA's office said Brescia was found to have contacted Foxworth, who at the time had recently been released from prison on firearms charges and had previously been convicted of second-degree murder. Foxworth followed the victim's daily routine and his car was seen in the parking lot on the day of the murder, police said. He was later paid $10,000 cash by Brescia for the crime.
Brescia and Foxworth were both arrested on April 4, 2006, four months after Schiller's murder.
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