Thursday’s ‘Dateline’ to feature Eastlake ‘murder for hire’ story

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The new episode airs on 3News on Thursday evening.

EASTLAKE, Ohio — Some stories are just meant for “Dateline.”

This one unfolded out of Eastlake nearly ten years ago, when 41-year-old Christine Metter went on Facebook to complain that her ex-husband, David Metter, was abusive during their marriage. Metter’s friend, Patrick Sabo of Lake County, joked that she should hire a hitman.

Authorities say Metter took the joke seriously and that she and her father, 77-year-old Al Zombory, met with Sabo at a Lake County restaurant and gave him $3,000 to find someone to do the job.

Sabo, a former Army Ranger, said Metter assumed he might know someone because of his military background. Instead, he immediately went to Eastlake Police, who had one of their officers pose as a hitman to meet with Metter and Zombory.

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On June 3, 2011, the group got together again, and the “hitman” announced to Metter and Zombory he had gone to Florida and had gotten the job done.

“I shot him in the head like you guys wanted me to do,” the undercover cop says on the audiotape. “Okay,” Metter replies, as her father adds, “he’s done.”

“You understand?” the undercover officer insists, and Zombory replies, “Yeah, I understand you.”

Earlier, the secretly recorded audio reveals the hitman demanding $100,000 of the ex-husband’s $1.5 million life insurance policy.

“I want $100,000. When does this policy come due?” the phony hitman insists. “Well, after they find him, OK?” is Zombory’s reply.

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In order to convince the pair that the “hit” had been carried out, the undercover officer produces a photo-shopped picture of the ex-husband with blood and a bullet hole in his head. The ex, who lived outside Atlanta, had been warned of the plot and cooperated with authorities.

Immediately after being shown the photo, Metter and Zombory were arrested by Eastlake Police, who swooped in and ordered them to put their hands behind their backs.

In videotapes showing Metter being questioned, the woman tells police, “I have no idea” when asked if she knew why she was arrested.

Later, Metter asks the police officers, “who’s murdered? what happened?” During the interview, she also asks, “I’ll have to go to jail?”

She and her father were eventually convicted on murder conspiracy charges. 

Zombory since died in custody, while Christine Metter is scheduled to be released next year.

Her ex has remarried and lives out of state, where he has been raising their four children.

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Marya Vinget

Marya Vinget is a freelance writer who works for may content writing agencies and for personal blog owners. She loves to write about everything from Tech to entertainment, You can hire her for the versatile writing attitude.