Wife, three others indicted in Nellis airman's death

A Clark County grand jury on Tuesday indicted four people on charges related to the Dec. 1 slaying of Air Force Staff Sgt. Nathan Paet in a plot authorities said was devised by the airman's wife and her lover.

Michelle Paet, 29; Michael Rodriguez, 31; Corry Hawkins, 33; and Jessica Austin, 23, were indicted on charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and burglary.

Rodriguez and Hawkins also face a fourth charge of possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.

The case is expected to be reviewed by the district attorney's death penalty committee, because aggravating factors in the case may lead prosecutors to seek the death penalty for some or all of the defendants.

A district judge on Tuesday ordered all four defendants to remain jailed without bail at the Clark County Detention Center.

A Jan. 4 arraignment was scheduled for all four defendants before District Judge Douglas Herndon.

Las Vegas police said Nathan Paet, 28, was shot to death by Rodriguez and Hawkins as he was leaving his southwest valley home to go to work at Nellis Air Force Base.

Rodriguez and Hawkins were alerted that Nathan Paet was leaving home by text messages sent by his wife, police said.

Once the sergeant was dead, Michelle Paet and Rodriguez had planned to collect $600,000 in military benefits and insurance money.

Authorities said Michelle Paet and Rodriguez have given full confessions, and she admitted to developing the alleged murder plot in October.

Originally, Rodriguez had told investigators he was having sex with a former porn star at the time of the shooting.

The woman denied that claim when questioned by police.

Nathan Paet was born in 1982 in Tamuning, Guam. He and Michelle were high school sweethearts. After graduation, Paet joined the Air Force in April 2002, and the two married in 2006. The couple had four children together.

At Nellis, Paet was the assistant non-commissioned officer-in-charge for the Strike Aircraft Maintenance Supply section of the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.