SANTA ANA — The last of five people charged in the killing a 72-year-old retired stockbroker as he slept in his Mission Viejo home pleaded guilty Monday in Orange County Superior Court.
Cindy Diebolt, 23, of Westminster pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit murder in connection with the stabbing death in 1989 of her grandfather, David Werner.
Diebolt was accused of unsuccessfully trying to hire someone to kill her grandfather, at her mother's request. Her mother, Deborah Ann Werner, was convicted last year of subsequently using one of Diebolt's friends as a go-between in hiring two killers.
Diebolt faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when she is sentenced April 16. However, Superior Court Judge Donald A. McCartin indicated that he would sentence her to a maximum of one year in prison, saying that if the probation report recommended a sentence of more than that, he would allow Diebolt to withdraw her guilty plea.
David Werner was stabbed numerous times on April 15, 1989, in the condo he shared with his daughter.
Deborah Werner, 44, was convicted last September of first-degree murder for hiring two men to kill her father, who she claimed was an abusive alcoholic, for $3,000. She was sentenced in December to 25 years to life in prison.
At the same trial, Miguel (Mike) Ruiz, 23, and Charles Clemmons, 21, were also convicted of first-degree murder, with the special circumstance of murder for financial gain.
Ruiz was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Clemmons is scheduled to be sentenced March 26.
Before Deborah Werner, Ruiz and Clemmons were tried, Carrie Marie Chidester, 21, pleaded guilty to acting as a go-between in the slaying and was sentenced to the maximum possible, 11 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter. Chidester testified for the prosecution in the trio's trial.
Deputy Dist. Atty. David L. Brent said he was glad that "of all the five people we charged, we finally have it resolved. After four years, it's about time."