Woman pleads guilty in Hillsboro attempted murder plot
A former Hillsboro woman has pleaded guilty to attempted murder, admitting that she planned to kill her ex-husband and make in order to collect his Social Security checks.
On Wednesday, March 13, Tanya Schmalz, 36, was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison for her plot to kill Jonathan Schmalz last year. Attempted murder is a Measure 11 crime with a mandatory sentence of 90 months in prison.
Schmalz, who lives in Battle Ground, Wash., was arrested Nov. 12 after two of her friends called Hillsboro Police, saying she had asked them to help her carry out the murder.
Schmalz would often joke about killing her ex-husband, the friends said, but the statements weren't taken seriously until last fall. Tanya Schmalz had lost her job and was in the process of being evicted from her home, according to court documents. She reportedly blamed Jonathan Schmalz for not paying child support for their two sons.
Tanya Schmalz had asked the two women to help her carry out her plan, which involved getting Jonathan Schmalz drunk at his home on Brookwood Avenue, then have him inhale "Rush," a tape cleaner that causes a brief, but powerful, high. Schmalz would then inject a lethal dose of insulin into the man's stomach and keep his mouth and nose covered with a Rush-soaked rag until he stopped breathing.
One friend was asked to purchase the Rush, so Schmalz wouldn't be caught on video surveillance buying the incriminating product. Another friend would keep Tanya Schmalz's cellphone at her home in Battle Ground, Wash., and would use it to text Schmalz's daughter, making it appear that Schmalz was in another state, giving her an alibi at the time of the murder.
According to court documents, Schmalz was worried about being caught, and refused to discuss the plot over the phone or through text messages. Police asked one of the two friends to wear a body wire and record Schmalz discussing the plot, which she did, prosecutors said.
When authorities arrested Schmalz on her way to Oregon, they found a bottle of Rush in her pocket and a syringe so full of insulin that the plunger was hanging at an angle, nearly spilling the contents out.
Schmalz reportedly told interrogators she would "love" for Jonathan Schmalz to die, but didn't plan on killing him. Talking about his death, she said, was a form of therapy.
Schmalz has tried to kill her ex-husband before, prosecutors said. In September 2016, court documents say, Schmalz poured crushed Benadryl into a bottle of vodka, which she gave to her ex-husband. She then reportedly drove him to a local convenience store on Tualatin Valley Highway and left him there, hoping he would overdose. According to prosecutors, police found him wandering in traffic and arrested him.
Schmalz reportedly told one the friends about the attempt, adding that she had not intended to kill the man, but had hoped in his altered state he would "do something stupid to get arrested."