Michelle Paet wanted her husband out of the picture.
She had met another man and no longer cared for Nathan Paet, 28, an Air Force staff sergeant with whom she was raising four children.
She and her new boyfriend, Michael Rodriguez, 31, devised a plot to kill her husband and split the $600,000 she would receive in military benefits and insurance money upon his death.
The tale of greed, lust and violence was detailed in arrest reports released Thursday as Michelle Paet, 29, was arrested on murder charges and booked into the Clark County jail, where authorities said she was on suicide watch.
Paet, Rodriguez, Corry Hawkins, 33, and Jessica Austin, 23, face murder charges, accused of participating in the airman's slaying. All expected a share of the money, the report said.
Police said Paet confessed to plotting her husband's death during questioning on Tuesday, the day that she missed his memorial service at Nellis Air Force Base.
She reportedly had been detained since that interview for a mental health evaluation because she had threatened to harm herself.
According to the report, Rodriguez and Hawkins waited for Nathan Paet to leave his southwest valley home at 9263 Alta Monte Court on the night of Dec. 1.
He had overslept and was late for work at Nellis, a fact police said his wife relayed to Rodriguez in a coded text message as he hid outside:
"Sorry took my meds and was asleep. My husband just woke me up and he's trying to rush out the door. I guess he's late lol. Sorry that contract is a pain," Michelle Paet messaged Rodriguez minutes before the shooting, authorities said.
"Can't go back to sleep right now. Got woken up from a man screaming I'm late. He's rushing to get out the door. Lol," she wrote to Rodriguez, police said.
"Lol" means "laugh out loud" in text shorthand.
Moments later, Nathan Paet, in uniform, opened his garage door and was shot multiple times, most of the bullets hitting him in the back, the report said.
He stumbled back into his home and collapsed. Michelle Paet called police to report the shooting.
Police immediately suspected the shooting was not random or a botched robbery. Nothing was taken, and the trajectory of one bullet indicated the shooter was inside the garage when he pulled the trigger, the report said.
And Michelle Paet quickly became a suspect. In initial interviews with detectives, she admitted to "flirting" with several workers at EIN Credit Inc., a telemarketing company at 3355 W. Spring Mountain Road, where she worked.
She mentioned co-worker Rodriguez by name.
When Rodriguez was interviewed, he denied being involved with the airman's death and offered an alibi: He was at a hotel having "sex with an ex-porn star" from 11 p.m. to midnight. But that woman told a different story.
The woman, who is not named in the report, told detectives she knew of the plan to kill Nathan Paet and that Rodriguez had promised her 5 percent of his share to provide him an alibi. She also said that Hawkins offered to go with Rodriguez for the shooting and that Austin, who lived with Hawkins, helped burn their clothes and bleach their apartment to destroy forensic evidence.
When confronted with the woman's statements, police said, Michelle Paet admitted being romantically involved with Rodriguez and confessed that they had been plotting to kill her husband since October.
Police said she told detectives several ideas had been discussed, including a scenario in which Nathan Paet would be shot in his Chevrolet Tahoe. The vehicle, stuffed with air fresheners, was to be covered with a tarp and abandoned in an apartment complex, she told police. Police reported finding a tarp and several air fresheners at Hawkins' apartment.
Rodriguez planned to pay another man $200,000 to help, while the lovers would split the remainder and "planned to develop a relationship together after the murder," the report said.
Nathan Paet was born in 1982 in Tamuning, Guam. He and Michelle were high school sweethearts. After graduation, he joined the Air Force in April 2002, and the two married in 2006.
At Nellis, he was the assistant non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the Strike Aircraft Maintenance Supply section of the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
Paet's commander, Lt. Col. Shane Henderson, said in a written statement that the turn of events both shocked and saddened squadron members. "Our hearts go out to Nate's children and extended family who have suffered a great loss and our thoughts and our prayers are with them as they transition from this tragedy to a hopeful future."
Contact reporter Mike Blasky at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0283.