Ten-years ago Tracey Richter admitted to blasting Dustin Wehde, 20, who's body was found in the bedroom of her Early, IA, home.
She insisted that she had acted to protect her children, ages 11, three and one, who were home with her while her second husband was away on business.
She also told cops that Wehde, 20, who was described as a loner who had gone to church and played paintball with the family, had an accomplice, who fled when she started shooting.
No charges were ever filed and the investigation stalled, until 2008 when the Division of Criminal Investigation took a fresh look at the case.
They found new evidence and a forensic expert who concluded the final three shots came as Wehde was face down on the ground.
In it, Wehde wrote he was hired by a "mysterious fellow" named John Pitman, a Virginia plastic surgeon whose divorce with Richter was finalized in 1996, to kill her and her 11-year-old son, Bert. Investigators have said that while the entry was in Wehde's handwriting, they never believed it was credible or that Wehde was actually a hit man, and they kept the existence of the notebook and its contents a secret.
It is expected to be a key piece of evidence at the trial.
Richter meanwhile has denied murder and is sticking with her self defense story.
Defense attorney Scott Bandstra told potential jurors Tuesday that his client used guns she was able to get from a safe to protect her home, herself and her three children after Wehde and another man broke in and assaulted her Dec. 13, 2001.