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Nurse to be sentenced in murder-for-hire case

CLEVELAND – A former Cleveland Clinic nurse faced seven to nine years in prison at sentencing Wednesday for trying to hire an emergency room patient to kill a woman.

Andrew Martin previously pleaded guilty to orchestrating the murder-for-hire plot.

Authorities said Martin offered $10,000 to an ER patient to kill a woman in a dispute over ownership of her deceased brother's home. The patient tipped off police that he had been asked by a nurse if he had ever killed anyone, investigators said.

Martin, of Bristolville, about 50 miles east of Cleveland, admitted in April to using a phone to further the plot. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trying to obtain private medical records.

The woman who was targeted was not harmed, and Martin was arrested last November. The Cleveland Clinic quickly parted ways with him.

Prosecutors said Martin and another man began plotting in October 2011 to take ownership of a home that had belonged to an elderly former patient at the hospital where Martin worked. The patient died in late 2010.

Martin used his position there to access the patient's medical records so the other man could claim to have had a personal relationship with him, prosecutors said.

They created a fake deed and claimed ownership of the home, prosecutors said.

A yearlong ownership fight began in probate court. A judge eventually sided with the administrator of the former owner's estate and voided a backdated deed.

Irritated that "this 70-year-old lady ... has been trying to mess up my life," Martin approached an ER patient who "looked like a big guy," according to the federal affidavit.

"Ever hurt anyone?" Martin asked the man, according to authorities.

Martin offered him $10,000 to kill the woman, authorities said. He also described her and her car and provided her address, prosecutors said.