Man sentenced to 37-81 years for ordering two hits

Posted: March 23, 2014

Calling him the "most diabolical, manipulative, soulless individual I've ever had in my courtroom," a judge on Friday sentenced to 37 to 81 years in prison an Austrian national who tried to have his ex-wife killed - and then solicited the murder of the hit man who failed to kill his wife.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright told Maikel Pouliczek that if he ever gets out of prison, "I am strongly recommending he be deported immediately so the citizens of the United States are safe from the evil that he is capable of."

Pouliczek, 30, said nothing.

Earlier, Pouliczek had argued with Bright when she asked whether he had anything to say for himself. Pouliczek questioned how he could be sentenced, telling Bright she failed to rule on a defense motion.

Bright disagreed and tried to get him to refocus on his sentencing but Pouliczek persisted.

"You don't listen to one thing I'm saying," Bright said.

"You're not listening to a thing I'm saying," Pouliczek shot back.

Pouliczek, a tall man with a shaved head, mustache and goatee, was found guilty by a jury in January of two counts of soliciting murder and related charges. According to trial testimony, Pouliczek met Barbara Zangerl in their native Austria. After Zangerl came to Philadelphia to work as a research scientist, he followed her.

Assistant District Attorney Lindsay Kenney said Pouliczek "beat and threatened [Zangerl] into submission" to get married in a mistaken belief he could then get a "green card," letting him stay permanently in the United States.

Kenney said Pouliczek screened Zangerl's calls, checked her work e-mail, and drove her to and from work. He threatened to have Zangerl's 13-year-old daughter killed and, in his wife's presence, called Austria and gave directions to others to stalk Zangerl's sister and mother.

In December 2008, Pouliczek was arrested in an unrelated incident in which he threatened a contractor with a gun. Once he was in prison, Zangerl called police and reported her husband's abuse and threats.

It was then that Pouliczek offered a fellow inmate $50,000 to kill Zangerl and her daughter. Kenney said he gave the inmate a map of their house and described the victims and where they slept.

Instead, the inmate reported the plot to authorities and Pouliczek was charged with soliciting murder and witness intimidation. He then gave a note to another inmate outlining his offer to have the first inmate killed.

Unfortunately for Pouliczek, the newly recruited hit man left the note where officials would find it during a routine cell search.


jslobodzian@phillynews.com

215-854-2985 @joeslobo

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