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FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) -- Two former soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg have been sentenced to life in prison without parole in the contract killing of the wife of one of the men.

The Fayetteville Observer reports Richard Smith and Matthew Wayne Kvapil pleaded guilty in Cumberland County Superior Court on Monday. They were charged in the 2008 death of Army Sgt. Christina Smith.

Authorities say she was killed when the Smiths were on a walk and Kvapil approached them from behind. They said he stabbed Smith's wife four times while her husband watched.

Prosecutors say Smith promised Kvapil $30,000 to kill his wife and that he had approached other people about killing his wife before Kvapil agreed.

The two pleaded guilty as part of a plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

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