Christine “Chrissy” Metter, 41, and her 76-year-old father, Al Zombory, did not like Chrissy’s ex-husband, David Metter. A custody battle raged between them over their four school-aged daughters.
Chrissy and Patrick Sabo were friends in high school, and in May 2011 they reconnected over Facebook messenger, Sabo told producers of “Murder for Hire” on Oxygen. Chrissy had recently finalized her divorce papers and was complaining about her now-ex-husband.
“Save your money and hire a hitman! LMAO,” Sabo told her, according to evidence acquired by “Murder for Hire.”
“Lol,” was Chrissy’s response.
A couple hours later, Chrissy asked Sabo if he would have dinner with her father, Sabo told “Murder for Hire” producers. He said yes.
The men met for dinner and Zombory “immediately” started talking about killing his son-in-law, according to Sabo. “He flat-out offered me money to kill him.”
Zombory said he would give Sabo $50,000 for the hit, according to local outlet Patch News. Sabo agreed, but then immediately went to the police, he told “Murder for Hire.” They told Sabo he needed to let Chrissy and Zombory know he’d found a hitman who was better suited to the job. The police would then send Detective Christopher Bowerstock to pose as the hitman and collect evidence.
Zombory and Chrissy agreed, and the deal was sealed, according to police tapes acquired by “Murder for Hire.”
“What made you think of killing this guy?” Bowerstock can be heard asking on the tapes.
“What made me? ‘Why not’ is the only answer I have,” Zombory responds. “He’s such a scumbag, alright? He’s done everything wrong. He took one kid. He’s threatening to take the rest of them.”
After the divorce the Metters' daughters were doing poorly under Chrissy’s care, David testified in court. He told a judge that their 13-year-old missed 30 days of school in a single year, according to local paper the News-Herald. Chrissy also allegedly called the cops 10 times on their 16-year-old. After she refused to go back on an airplane to be with her mother, David won custody over her, he told "Murder for Hire.” David was hoping to win the other three daughters as well.
“You’ve got the money. God bless you, have fun,” Zombory can be heard telling Bowerstock after handing him a $3,000 down payment to murder the father of his grandchildren.
Following the initial exchange between Bowerstock and Zombory, police staged David’s murder and had Bowerstock offer to show Chrissy and Zombory a picture. Moments later, cops swooped in on the conspirators and arrested them.
Chrissy Metter pleaded not guilty at trial.
“The past nine months have been a living nightmare with the girls and I separated,” she told Lake County Judge Eugene Lucci, according to the News-Herald. “Please, your honor. Let me prove that I am still a valuable member of society.”
Lucci was not impressed.
“I find an appalling lack of remorse,” he said before handing down Chrissy’s sentence after she was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, according to Patch News. “This ... was done more as a revenge for David Metter’s persistence in looking out for his daughters.”
Lucci sentenced Chrissy to 10 years in prison, the maximum sentence for conspiracy to murder, according to Patch News. Zombory pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine years, according to the News-Herald.
David told producers that his new wife, Loni, has adopted all four of his daughters, and that his life is far more peaceful now than it ever was before.
“I am certainly most thankful for my children, who made it through this and who have to continue to live with this every day,” he said.
Zombory died in prison in 2018, having served five years of his sentence, according to “Murder for Hire.” He was 83 years old.
Chrissy is scheduled for release in 2021.
For more information, tune in to “Murder for Hire,” airing Sundays at 7/6c on Oxygen.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.