An Edmonton dental assistant was sentenced Tuesday after she tried to hire an undercover police officer to kill eight members of a family so she could obtain two properties they owned.
My Tai Sparling, 46, pleaded guilty in provincial court to counselling murder and uttering threats for her failed plot to kill the entire family.
“This plan bordered on the absurd, but it’s clear she wanted these people dead,” said provincial court Judge Michael Allen. “The facts here are extremely unusual.”
In 2014, Sparling hired Richard Sicard and Sang Phan to renovate a property she owned. Months later, Sicard was arrested on an unrelated assault charge and Sparling paid his $500 bail. On the drive home, Sparling claimed Sang had stolen money and property from her.
On May 5, 2015, Sparling went to Sicard’s home to craft a plan to “get rid of Sang’s wife and family.” Sicard thought Sparling was kidding and told her he wasn’t interested in killing anyone. Sparling said he owed her because she previously bailed him out of custody.
The next day, Sparling brought pictures of Sang’s family to Sicard.
“Kill them all,” she said, unaware that Sicard was recording her.
Sicard later told Sparling he’d found a hit man for her. Then he called police. An undercover Edmonton police officer posing as a contract killer met Sparling outside a west-end restaurant.
As the officer listened, Sparling listed the eight Sang family members she wanted killed. She had pictures of Sang, his wife, his sisters, his sons and his daughter. Sparling said she wanted some deaths to look accidental and another to be an apparent suicide. She wanted it to appear that Sang had committed one of the murders.
The officer told Sparling he needed a $1,000 down payment and a further $2,000 after the killings were complete. Sparling said she had little money and would have to get a bank loan to pay him.
“It was an attempt to kill a family of eight, not once, but twice,” Crown prosecutor Brendan Gaunt told court.
Sparling wanted Sang out of the way so she could use his driver’s licence to transfer his two properties to herself because she believed she’d paid most of the expenses. If Sang’s family were dead, Sparling thought, there would be no danger of the properties being inherited by someone else.
Defence lawyer Robert Shaigec called the land dispute “a very minor financial issue.”
Court heard that Sparling suffers from serious anxiety and depressive disorders.
Previously, Sparling had no criminal record.
Sparling has already served the equivalent of 10 months in jail. Allen sentenced her to house arrest for the next six months, a curfew for a further six months, then probation for three years.