When a marriage dissolves, it has some rather far-reaching consequences. In most cases, there are divorce hearings, custody battles, and all sorts of bitterness in between. But a few people also choose to take a rather unusual and dangerous route to get rid of their spouses with the help of a murder-for-hire plot. In this article, we discuss one such case that appeared on ‘Dateline: The Eastlake Conspiracy’ as well as ID’s ‘I Went Undercover: Family Business.’
Who is Christine Metter?
Christine Zombory Metter of Beachwood, Ohio, was married to David Metter at one point in time, with whom she shares four daughters. They separated in January 2009. The ex-husband called her a good mother but admitted things changed soon after the divorce. In fact, it came to light that their then 13-year-old daughter missed 30 days of school one year. Following this, he won custody of the child and was in the process of doing the same for his other daughters.
Around this time, in May 2011, Christine Metter (then 41) got in touch with an old high school friend of hers, Patrick Sabo. They were discussing her issues of a troubled, failed marriage over Facebook Messenger when he joked, “Save your money and hire a hitman! LMAO,” to which she just replied, “Lol.” However, mere hours after this particular exchange, Christine asked her old friend to have dinner with her father, retired police officer Al Zombory.
That night, at a Lake County restaurant, Al immediately broached the subject of getting David killed. He even went as far as to offer Sabo $50,000 for the job, along with David’s picture and his address in Georgia. Obviously disturbed by this, Sabo contacted the police, who in turn instructed him to tell the pair that he’d found a much more suitable hitman. A clandestine operation was thus carried out. Christine’s ex was made aware of the scheme, and Detective Christopher Bowerstock went undercover as the hitman.
On June 3, 2011, the cop, still playing the part of the hitman, told Christine and Zombory that the job had been done. He even produced a set-up picture of David with a “bullet hole” in the head and blood all around him. In the audiotape, the “hitman” is heard saying, “I shot him in the head like you guys wanted me to do,” which the father acknowledged.
In another portion of the audio, the payment was discussed. You see, Christine Metter was the beneficiary of the $1.5 million insurance policy that was in David’s name. The cop said, “I want $100,000. When does this policy come due?” Zombory stated, “Well, after they find him, OK?” Following this, Eastlake Police arrested the father-daughter duo.
Where is Christine Metter Today?
At her trial, Christine Metter pleaded not guilty. She said, “The past nine months have been a living nightmare with the girls and I separated. Please, your honor. Let me prove that I am still a valuable member of society.” Her sister, Elizabeth Kiley, attested that she was a great parent by adding, “They miss their mom. They want their mom, and they need their mom.” Even her lawyer, S. Michael Lear, stated that the father had manipulated his client.
Apart from this, Christine stated in her testimony that David had been an abusive husband over the course of their marriage — “He shoved me into the door, he hit me in the head, he kneed me in the stomach.” She further tried to paint him in a bad light by arguing that he had a relationship with a coworker in 2000 and went on to hire her when he started working at a new company. Her defense also went after Sabo, claiming that the friend just wanted fame.
However, none of these allegations struck, and Christine was found guilty of conspiracy to commit aggravated murder. She was sentenced to 10 years behind bars, which is the maximum verdict for the offense. Lake County Judge, Eugene Lucci, said, “I find an appalling lack of remorse. This … was done more as a revenge for David Metter’s persistence in looking out for his daughters.” From what we can tell, she was released from state prison in March 2021 and is currently doing her best to create a different life for herself under Adult Parole Authority (APA) supervision. Her probation will end in 2026.
Read More: Where is David Metter Now?