An Oklahoma woman was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole Wednesday after admitting that she asked her lover to kill her allegedly abusive husband, a pastor, her lawyer said.
The sentence for Kristie Evans, 49, was significantly more than the “split sentence” punishment of four years in prison and life on probation sought by attorney Joi Miskel.
Miskel said prosecutors had sought life without the possibility of parole for the March 22, 2021, murder of David Evans, her husband of three decades and a pastor at Harmony Free Will Baptist Church in Ada.
The Pontotoc County prosecutor handling the case, Tara Portillo, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Kristie Evans will be eligible for parole in 2060, after serving most of 45 years, Miskel said.
During a sentencing hearing Tuesday, Evans testified that she asked her lover, Kahlil Square, to fatally shoot her husband while he slept, NBC affiliate KFOR reported.
She initially reported that an apparent intruder had killed him, but testified that the guilt “ate her alive” and that she surrendered to authorities to “get right with God,” the station reported.
Kristie Evans described her husband as “charming” and “smooth” on the outside, but controlling and abusive to her and their three children behind closed doors, the station reported.
In interviews from jail last year, Kristie Evans told NBC News that her husband repeatedly pressured her to have sex with other men, including Square, and that he once held a .357 revolver to his chin after she threatened divorce.
She described him as physically abusive and financially controlling, and an expert told NBC News that their relationship appeared to be a “classic case” of coercive control, an often-misunderstood form of domestic abuse.
Prosecutors countered that Kristie Evans was a “very good liar” who used Square and wrote sexually-explicit messages to other men behind bars, KFOR reported.
A lawyer for Kahlil Square, Tony Coleman, said Wednesday that he believed Evans’ punishment was consistent with the court’s “understanding of the evidence and the law.”
Square, who is in his 20s, entered a not guilty plea in the killing but has admitted to pulling the trigger, Coleman said.
“I believe it’s going to be repeatedly held that Evans was the principal,” Coleman said. “I believe Square was targeted and taken advantage of by the pastor and Ms. Evans.”
“Kahlil should have never been lured into this trap,” he added.
David Evans’ mother, Jean Richardson, said Wednesday that she believed the judge handed down the correct sentence.
“I don’t know if there’s justice, but I don’t believe in the death penalty,” said Richardson, 80. “It’s not an eye for an eye, but it is punishment.”
Kristie Evans’ daughter, Brittney Long, who has publicly supported her mother and described her father as abusive, said Wednesday that she wasn’t done fighting for her mother and hoped she could get mental health treatment in prison.
Long also recalled when her mother confessed to the killing and said, “Even if I spend the rest of my life behind bars, I’ll be more free than I was with your dad.”