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Courts & Trials

Calif. Woman Convicted of Plotting Husband’s Murder with Ex-Firefighter Lover: ‘Rob Needed to Die’

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From left: Sabrina Limon confers with her attorney, Richard Terry, in court in September.
Felix Adamo/The Bakersfield Californian/AP

A California woman faces 25 years to life in prison for murder after a man with whom she was having an extramarital affair testified that they jointly plotted her husband’s 2014 death — first by poisoned pudding and, later, with a fatal shooting.

On Thursday, a Kern County, California, jury found 37-year-old Sabrina Limon guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of her husband, Robert Limon, who was shot by her ex-lover Jonathan Hearn.

Sabrina is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3 and an appeal is planned, her attorney, Richard Terry, tells PEOPLE.

Hearn, a 27-year-old former firefighter in Redlands, California, earlier accepted a plea deal and agreed to testify against Sabrina in exchange for a prison term of 25 years and four months, reports the Bakersfield Californian.

Hearn is due to be sentenced on Oct. 26, the Kern County District Attorney’s Office confirms to PEOPLE. A call to his defense attorney, Clayton Campbell, was not immediately returned.

During Sabrina’s three-week trial, jurors heard her admit to the affair with Hearn, which she said began after she and her husband had decided to engage in sex with other couples.

Robert, a 38-year-old railroad worker, was found shot dead by Hearn on Aug. 17, 2014, inside a railway industrial complex in Tehachapi, California, according to local TV station KBAK/KBFX.

Hearn reportedly testified that the shooting — which he admitted to — was planned with Sabrina.

From left: Richard and Sabrina Limon
Sabrina SanMillan Limon/Facebook

Following her husband’s death, Sabrina paid tribute to him on Facebook, writing on Sept. 9, 2014: “Robert showed his love, compassion, hardworking skills, and genuine kindness to everyone he met.”

She added: “I will never let Rob’s love die or fade out. I will carry it with me wherever I go, and remind our children of it daily as they grow.”

Prosecutors argued, however, that there was a darker side to the marriage: They said Sabrina and Hearn started to envision a life together after they met in 2012 and began their affair, without Robert’s knowledge.

“It was inevitable that Rob needed to die for Sabrina and I to move forward with our relationship,” Hearn testified, according to station KCAL.

What’s more, according to the Californian, Sabrina was to receive $300,000 in life insurance after her husband’s death, among other benefits.

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Prosecutors said that Sabrina provided Hearn with information about her husband’s Tehachapi workplace and his work schedule on the day he was shot.

Hearn testified that months before the fatal shooting, he and Sabrina had conspired to place arsenic that he’d ordered online into a banana pudding that Sabrina packed into her husband’s lunch.

But the two feared getting caught, and Sabrina later called her husband and told him to throw out the pudding before he ate it, telling him the bananas were bad, according to Hearn’s testimony.

Jonathan Hearn
Felix Adamo/The Bakersfield Californian/AP

Sabrina’s attorney, Richard Terry, told reporters after the guilty verdict last week that with his testimony, “Hearn saved his own butt.”

The prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Eric Smith, countered by telling PEOPLE, “His testimony was integral to her conviction, but there was other evidence beyond just him.”

Hearn’s no-contest plea deal, reached last January, accepts his responsibility for voluntary manslaughter with firearm enhancement, attempted murder, poisoning, and accessory to murder, the prosecutor confirms.

In addition to first-degree murder, Sabrina was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder, soliciting murder and being an accessory after the fact. She was found not-guilty on charges of attempted murder and poisoning.

The difference between the punishments facing the two individuals is that “[Hearn] has an ‘out’ date; my client is looking at a sentence of 25-to-life,” Sabrina’s attorney tells PEOPLE.

To other media, he added: “It’s hard to fathom how they found her not-guilty of attempted murder but involved with the murder,” reports the Californian.

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Terry said his client “cares about her kids, loves them deeply and loved her husband.”

The verdict in Sabrina’s case was “a just result,” prosecutor Smith told reporters afterward.

“I’m relieved,” Robert’s sister, Chris Wilson, said outside the courthouse after the jury reached its decision. “It’s just been a long three years, and it’s time to put this behind us and move on.”

“It’ll never bring my brother back,” she said, “but it will bring justice, and that’s what we’ve been looking for.”