Closings and delays

Grafton man sentenced in murder-for-hire plot after would-be hit man backs out

ELYRIA, Ohio-- A Grafton man was sentenced on Wednesday to four years in prison in a murder-for-hire plot.

Seljami "Sam" Idrizi, 40, pleaded guilty earlier this year to murder conspiracy charges. Lorain County prosecutors said he paid a would-be hit man to kill a longtime friend who threatened to expose an affair.

"The victim had been trying to get the defendant to stop having an affair and stop seeing a woman that he was seeing. And the defendant got so angry that that he went that further step and hired someone, $5,000, your honor, to have the victim killed," said Stephanie Malanowski, assistant prosecutor.

The plot was exposed when the hit man went to North Ridgeville police and told detectives.

To convince Idrizi the hit man carried out the murder, police staged a crime scene and took photos of the intended target after a makeup artist made it look like he had been shot in the head.

"At that time, when the defendant thought his 'friend' was dead, was happy and paid the remaining $4,000 balance. And that's when he was arrested, your honor," Malanowski said.

The victim of the murder-for-hire plot told the judge he forgave Idrizi and pleaded for leniency.

"I am here to tell you that Seljami is a good guy, Seljami is a family guy," the man said in court on Wednesday.

The judge rejected that request and agreed with prosecutors that the only thing that prevented the murderous scheme was the would-be hit man getting cold feet.