ID Go: US Air Force sergeant Nathan Paet and his family appear to live a blissfully normal life – as these never-before-aired home videos attest. But blind greed would bring about the destruction of this loving family. -Watch Your Back, American Monster (S3, E6)
Air Force service member Nathan Paet was shot and killed after opening his garage door as he was leaving for work on December 1st, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nathan and Michelle Paet were both from Guam, were high school sweethearts, and had four beautiful children together. Nathan was an assistant NCOIC for the Strike Aircraft Maintenance Supply section of the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The couple were struggling financially after they bought a new home in Las Vegas so Nathan volunteered for a six-month deployment to Iraq and Michelle got a part-time job. Upon Nathan’s return to Nevada, he treated his family to an extra special Christmas. And Nathan’s brother Eric Paet paid him a special visit. Eric said the last time he saw his brother, he could sense something wasn’t right. Eric observed that Nathan and Michelle didn’t appear to be getting along and the couple were struggling to pay the bills. As Eric and his wife were leaving, they sensed Nathan wanted to tell them something, but he didn’t.
On December 1, 2010, Michelle called 911 to get help for Nathan who had been shot in the neck and couldn’t talk but was still alive. Unfortunately, despite the doctor’s best efforts, Nathan died at the hospital. Police wasted no time hunting for Nathan’s killer because this wasn’t something they were used to in the Mountain’s Edge suburb. A witness observed a man speed away in a black Cadillac on the day in question. When Michelle Paet was interviewed, she admitted to knowing someone who owned a black Cadillac and his name was Michael Rodriguez. Rodriguez had a police record but nothing violent. When Rodriguez was questioned, he admitted to having a casual affair with Michelle but nothing sexual. His alibi at the time of the murder was that he was sleeping with a woman he met at a Wal-Mart. He even offered up a video of the encounter. Police went to the motel he claimed he was at and they indeed found him on the security camera footage. In the meantime, Michael’s alibi, the woman he claimed to be with, saw the media coverage and decided to go to the police.
Michael’s alibi told police that Jessica Austin asked her to be an alibi for Corry Hawkins and Michael Rodriguez. She was supposed to say she was with them all day. The alibi claimed when the pair got back from murdering Nathan Paet, Jessica burned their clothes in the fire place. The police also learned that Michael worked with Michelle Paet. While the Nellis AFB community was honoring Nathan, the Las Vegas Police Department were turning up the heat on Michelle. She finally admitted to having a sexual relationship with Michael Rodriguez. And at this point, detectives suspected that Michelle was involved with Nathan’s murder. Michelle admitted that Nathan suspected her of having an affair and she was afraid Nathan would leave her. She didn’t want to leave the marriage empty handed. Michelle and Michael started discussing ways to kill her husband so they could cash out on the life insurance proceeds. The day of the murder, Michelle texted Michael as Nathan was running out the door. She set up the ambush that lead to Nathan’s death. Hours after he was dead, Michelle texted Michael a smiley face.
Michelle Paet was arrested on suspicion of murder. The district attorney theorized Michael Rodriguez and Corry Hawkins lied in wait for Nathan to leave for work. The plan was to kidnap Nathan at gunpoint, drive him out to the desert, kill him and leave him. As soon as Nathan opened up the garage door, he was confronted and refused to cooperate so Rodriguez shot him and fled the scene. Nathan immediately went inside his home thinking he was running away from danger but instead he was running right into it. On December 7, 2010, Michael Rodriguez was arrested for the murder of Nathan Paet. Rodriguez was found guilty of first degree murder, Corry Hawkins pleaded guilty to first degree murder, and Jessica Austin was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Michelle Paet was the cold, calculating and cunning planner. She wanted to take the $650,000, go to Guam with her children, and live like a queen. To avoid the death penalty, Michelle Paet pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Source: ‘Watch Your Back’ American Monster
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In the News:
Michelle Paet sobbed in court as she pleaded guilty to plotting her husband’s death with her ex-lover, Michael Rodriguez, who was also found guilty last week of gunning down Nathan Paet. -PNC News
Michelle Paet had pleaded guilty to murdering her husband to avoid the death penalty. -PNC News
Corry Hawkins, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the slaying of Nellis airman Nathan Paet, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. -Las Vegas Review-Journal
A happy military family kept walls up that were soon to be knocked down. Did Michelle’s husband bring his fate upon himself, or was she behind the whole thing? -Michelle Paet, Snapped
Those involved with the case give their input on the verdict and Michelle’s future. -Michelle Paet, Snapped
Michelle Fleck details all the ways Michelle Paet plotted to “get rid” of her late husband, Nathan. -Michelle Paet, Snapped
Michelle’s sister, Melissa, speaks fondly of Michelle. -Michelle Paet, Snapped
An Air Force sergeant is gunned down in his garage revealing an elaborate conspiracy with an unlikely mastermind. -Michelle Paet, Snapped
In Memory Of Nathan Paet | Facebook
Wife of Nellis airman arrested in husband’s death
Wife of Murdered Iraq War Vet Arrested in Las Vegas Shooting Death
Ex-con found guilty in Vegas slaying of US airman from Guam
Ex-convict found guilty in Las Vegas murder, conspiracy plot with wife of US airman
Cheating widow sobs as she pleads guilty to setting up the shooting murder of her airman husband who was left bleeding to death in front of their four children
Wife plotted with lover to kill airman husband so she could claim life insurance
Woman gets life in prison without parole in death of husband, a Nellis airman
Michelle Paet sentenced to life without parole for conspiring to kill her husband
Man gets life in prison without parole for slaying of Nellis airman
No parole for defendant in slaying of U.S. airman from Guam
Vegas mom gets life in prison for life insurance death of husband
Wife of Slain Airman Pleads Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty
Paet Sentenced to Life in Murder-For-Hire of Husband
Woman sentenced to life for killing airman husband
Man gets life without parole for murder of Nellis airman
Snapped: Sneak Peek – Did Michelle Do It? (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: After The Verdict – Michelle Paet (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Prosecutor Michelle Fleck (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Kind Words for Michelle (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Michelle Paet | Snapped | Oxygen (S21, E8)
Watch Your Back | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)