BY KRISTEN DELGUZZI
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Since the day Linda Khriss was arrested, she has steadfastly denied hiring someone to kill her husband and brother-in-law.
Her story, as told to police, is that she contracted with someone to hurt her husband, Maher Khrais, so he would know how she felt when he beat her.
But that claim, which so far has dominated her capital murder trial, may be shattered today when the accused hit man testifies against her.
Andre Miles is expected to tell jurors -- just as he told police in his taped statement -- that he confronted Mr. Khrais on Nov. 22 because Mrs. Khriss wanted her husband dead.
In his statement, Mr. Miles told police that Mr. Khrais and his brother, Khreis Ziad, threw money at him, begging him not to shoot. But Mr. Miles shot both at least twice outside Mr. Khrais' East Westwood grocery. He later led police to the gun.
Mr. Miles, 24, of Winton Place, is charged with two counts of aggravated murder. He could be sentenced to death if convicted. Mrs. Khriss, 38, also could be sentenced to death if convicted. At least a week before the shooting, Mr. Khrais threw a phone at his wife's head while they were in one of their grocery stores. Another employee, Ahmad Fawzi Issa, witnessed the incident and approached Mrs. Khriss later. He now is charged with aggravated murder, accused of being the middleman in the hit-man deal.
"I said if I could find somebody to beat . . . him, just to show him how much painful it is to hit somebody," said Mrs. Khriss, who speaks in broken English. "That's when Ahmad offered to beat him up. And he said he wanted $2,000 for it. And that was it."
"So you agreed to pay him $2,000?" Cincinnati homicide detective David Feldhaus asks on the tape.
"To beat him up, yeah," Mrs. Khriss responds. "But not to have him killed."