DETROIT — The widow of a Gulf War soldier was sentenced to life in prison without parole Friday for plotting the 1991 murder of her husband to cash in on his insurance policy.
Toni Cato Riggs, 25, who was convicted of first-degree murder June 8, received the mandatory sentence for conspiring with her brother to kill her husband, Anthony Riggs.
Prosecutors had argued that Riggs hired her brother, Michael Cato, to shoot her husband outside the couple's Detroit home just days after he returned from Saudi Arabia where he served as a Patriot missile crewman.
The national media initially portrayed the incident as a symbol of U.S. violence--a combat veteran felled by a random drive-by shooting just days after returning from the Gulf.
Toni Riggs, who showed no emotion during the original trial, broke down during the sentencing, quoting from the Bible and pleading for mercy.
Riggs had collected $150,000 in life insurance money after her husband's death, and prosecutors said she had planned to use the money to enter the drug trade.