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Four sentenced in murder for hire plot 

Four sentenced in murder for hire plot 
Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 19:11:39-05

"It helps. Justice for Dana has been our theme for the last two and a half years, and that part helps this justice journey is over," Steven and Sarah Pearson told NewsChannel 3 after those responsible for their daughter's death were sentenced.

A neighbor found Dana Mackay beaten to death inside her home back in 2013.

Her husband, John Mackay, was sentenced to 28 years and 2 months on Tuesday for her murder.

"We loved John at one time, and he betrayed us. He took something from us that we will never get back," Sarah Pearson told NewsChannel 3.

John's mistress, Nicole Houchin, was also sentenced. She will spend the next 23 years and 11 months behind bars.

In court, she faced Dana's family and told them how sorry she was.

She said, "There's nothing I can say to make you feel better. I'm glad you are getting Justice for her, she didn't deserve it. I'm sorry you have to live without her. I'm sorry she met John and me. I'm sorry I didn't stop my husband."

John and Nicole hired Nicole's husband, Nace Houchin, to murder Dana for $20,000. He beat her to death with a torque wrench, stabbed her in her face, and cut off her finger.

He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Another man, Gregory Crawford, was also sentenced to 17 years in prison for conspiracy to commit capital murder. Nicole worked with him and convinced him to take part in the plan.

"It's been a long journey, but we believe everything happened the way it should. We are completely happy with the verdict," Steven Pearson said.

In court, attorneys insinuated Nicole Houchin was the mastermind behind the whole murder plot. John Mackay's attorney even referred to her as a "black widow" who was able to manipulate three men.