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Judge Frees Woman Who Planned Husband’s Death

September 12, 1986

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (AP) _ A woman charged with plotting the death of her husband has been freed by a judge who described the man as ″despicable, inhumane, an animal.″

Beverly Wallace had said her husband, John, forced her to have sex with his friends and was planning to force her into prostitution.

Suffolk County Court Judge Alfred C. Tisch on Thursday put Mrs. Wallace on probation for five years after listening to two of her daughters and a family friend describe the abusive behavior of her husband.

″I don’t know any of us who could put up in our lives with what she put up with,″ Tisch said.

Wallace, 42, was found in his driveway in Mastic with eight bullet wounds on Jan. 15, 1985, and died hours later.

Prosecutors said Mrs. Wallace, 41, persuaded two friends to help arrange the killing.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy Mazzei recommended to the judge that he not sentence Mrs. Wallace to prison.

″She testified she was at a point where she was contemplating suicide,″ Mazzei said. ″Two of her daughters testified as to orgies and the father having sex with other women in the house as well as assaults on children themselves.″

Earlier this summer, Tisch sentenced Mark Oldenbuttel, the triggerman, to a minimum of 17 years in prison on a plea to murder.

Oldenbuttel’s brother, Peter, and Mark Rusch, who agreed to carry out the killing for $5,000, each got a minimum eight years and four months, to a maximum 15 years in prison.

Tisch called the case the most bizarre he had seen in 15 years as a judge.

″It would be difficult for most people to understand why Beverly Wallace stayed with him,″ the judge said. ″In her own mind, she had no options.″

A psychotherapist, Kathleen Lambrecht, said Mrs. Wallace has not fully recovered.

″She still lives in fear of him,″ she said. ″She still feels married to him even though he’s gone.″

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