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Californian charged with killing her husband in carjacking ruse

The widow of a wealthy software designer was charged with killing her husband and covering it up by claiming they had been attacked by carjackers.

Rebecca Cleland, 28, was found lying in a street near her husband's body July 26. She told investigators she was knocked unconscious by carjackers and awoke to the sight of her husband in a pool of blood.But police said paramedics found no evidence she was injured.

Bruce Cleland, 43, was shot while seated on the passenger side of his car, then shot again repeatedly in the head as he attempted to escape.

"It was a very brutal murder," detective Rick Peterson said. "And it was motivated by financial gain. This was no carjacking."

Police tracked down insurance policies Rebecca Cleland had taken out on her husband and found people who said she had solicited them to kill him, detectives said. They said there was at least one accomplice, and they may make another arrest.

Rebecca Cleland, of Whittier, was to be arraigned Thursday. She has been held without bail since her arrest Tuesday. Prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty.