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Prosecutor: Garden City wife thought out hit-man plot well

Susan Williams arrives at Nassau County Courthouse on

Susan Williams arrives at Nassau County Courthouse on Tuesday. Williams is accused of attempting to hire a hit man to kill her husband. (March 9, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Even as the Garden City mother of four put a $500 deposit on her husband's murder, she mused to the would-be hit man about what expression she should wear on her face when police came to tell her the tragic news, a prosecutor said in court Tuesday.

It was this behavior that prosecutor Jane Zwirn-Turkin described to Judge Joseph Calabrese Tuesday, convincing him to hold Williams' bail amount at $1 million bond or $500,000 cash.

"She had this thought out very, very well," Zwirn-Turkin said in court.

PHOTOS: Garden City wife allegedly hires hit man to kill husband

But Williams' lawyer, John Carman, of Garden City, told Calabrese that his client is not a flight risk and that her parents are ready to offer their home to a bail bondsman as equity.

"It seems unlikely that a mother in this situation would flee," Carman said. Prosecutors say Williams last month asked an acquaintance to refer her to a hit man to kill her husband, Peter. Instead, the acquaintance put her in touch with an undercover police officer, who videotaped Williams as she paid him a $500 deposit on the $20,000 job.

A day after she allegedly set up the would-be hit and as police were preparing to arrest her, Williams, 44, was at swanky NuBest Salon in Manhasset getting her hair cut, colored and blown out, and her eyebrows threaded for about $150, a publicist for the salon confirmed. Williams pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of second-degree criminal solicitation and second-degree conspiracy. If convicted, she could face a maximum of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison. Lawyers for both Susan and Peter Williams said the charges were borne out of a bitter divorce fight. The battle was nearing its May trial date when Williams was arrested Thursday night.

Susan Williams first filed for divorce in early 2008, Peter Williams' divorce attorney Nancy J. Dreeben, of Garden City, said Saturday. She later dropped the motion, but Peter Williams immediately filed for divorce himself.

"Peter really has been through a lot with the divorce and now, with this. He really wants to get his kids safe and going to school, and doing what kids do," Dreeben said.

But Susan Williams' divorce lawyer, Jeffrey Pam of East Meadow, said Peter Williams has made his client's life difficult, too.

"It's been a very difficult, stressful divorce for her," he said. "He has . . . intentionally made it difficult for her.

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