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Final arrest made in 1998 OC murder case

Thomas Joseph Garrick, 36, was arrested late Tuesday in a 1998 murder-for-hire case.

November 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Orange County investigators made an arrest late Tuesday in a 1998 murder-for-hire case.

Thomas Joseph Garrick, 36, of Laguna Hills, is accused of stabbing cancer-stricken Jack Jessee to death at the victim's Placentia home.

Garrick has been charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder for financial gain and one felony count conspiracy to commit murder. If convicted, he faces a maximum life sentence in state prison without the possibility of parole. Garrick is set to be arraigned Monday.

Investigators said he was hired by the victim's wife, Sandra Jessee, 60, of Placentia, who is currently on trial. Sandra Jessee allegedly wanted her husband of 15 years killed because she did not want the responsibility of caring for the 56-year-old, who had been diagnosed with cancer earlier that year, and did not want to deplete their retirement savings, believing that insurance would not cover all of his cancer treatments.

Sandra Jessee's son from another marriage pleaded guilty for his role in arranging the murder.. The getaway driver has also pleaded guilty in the case.

Jack Jessee was murdered in his living room on the night of August, 13, 1998. His body was discovered by his adult daughter just minutes after Garrick and the getaway driver allegedly left the home. Garrick was reportedly paid $20,000 for the murder.

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