Harold Stonier told the hitman he didn't really care how his wife was killed, as long as it didn't take too long.
''I would prefer just quick. I mean, it's not malicious or anything," the Concord telecommunications engineer said on a recording played for jurors yesterday at his murder-for-hire trial.
The tape, made by two federal agents posing as a hit man and his girlfriend, was one of several that jurors heard of conversations Stonier had with undercover agents about his alleged plan to kill his wife, Jamie, in April 2003.
During one meeting, Stonier says he doesn't care how she is killed, but then offers several detailed scenarios, including one that would have made it look like she was having an affair and was murdered by her jilted lover. He suggests the hit man strangle his wife in their home, put her body in a car, drive it to a nearby hotel, and leave it there. He says the killing could be done while the couple's 3-year-old son is home asleep.
Stonier, who is acting as his own lawyer, told jurors on Monday that he tried to back out of the plot to kill his wife, but that he was threatened by Frank ''Bruno" Moniz, a New Bedford gangster he asked to carry out the killing.
Moniz agreed to testify against Stonier and in exchange received a reduced, eight-year sentence for an unrelated racketeering conviction. He said Monday that Stonier contacted him out of the blue in April 2003 and asked him to kill his wife. Moniz said his lawyer contacted authorities about Stonier's request and he agreed to meet with Stonier so federal agents could get Stonier on tape.