By Mark Abrams

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — A Chester County woman, set to go on trial for a murder in which she convinced her young lover to kill her husband, pled guilty on Tuesday and was sentenced to life in prison.

Authorities say 37-year-old Morgan Mengel convinced her lover, Stephen Shappell, an employee of the couple’s landscaping business, to kill her husband, Kevin Mengel in June 2010.

“She wanted to get rid of her husband,” says Chester County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Carmody, “and she manipulated a 21-year-old lover to do a crime with her. After she did the crime, she thought she covered her tracks.”

Shappell was captured and eventually confessed to authorities that he hit Kevin Mengel in the head after an attempt to drug him failed. He’s facing a sentence of 40 to 80 years in prison.

Carmody says a jury was picked and Mengel’s trial was to begin Tuesday when she decided to enter a guilty plea. He says the texts and planned testimony of her former lover may have changed her mind.

“Technology caught her,” Carmody says, “because the text messages reveal a play-by-play of a murder.”

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