Suspect's wife speaks out about alleged murder plot

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police made an arrest they believe narrowly stopped a man from killing his estranged wife. However, that wife told 3TV her soon to be ex-husband is "not a monster," despite his alleged murder plot.

Carlos Hillan, 34, is in jail facing attempted murder charges. Police caught him waiting at his estranged wife's house with a gas can and a plan to kill his wife and her boyfriend and set them on fire before committing suicide.

"I'm still in shock, stunned, hurt, scared," said Hillan's wife, asking that 3TV not reveal her identity.

Although she's frightened, Hillan's wife is brave enough to defend a man many would consider a monster.

"He was a good man, a passionate, talented man -- not a monster," she said.

However, Hillan's wife does think the plan police said her husband hatched is monstrous.

According to police in Mesa, Hillan was planning to murder and set fire to his wife and her boyfriend before killing himself. He was arrested in her back yard with a gas can and lighter.

Police said Hillan's wife is alive only because a roommate got nervous and called police after seeing Hillan leaving with a machete, rope, zip ties and a gallon of gasoline.

"I'm thankful to be alive. I'm thankful to his friend for seeing that something wasn't quite right and not just brushing it off," she said.

The plan is shockingly similar to a real life terror that played out in Phoenix on Tuesday. On Tuesday afternoon, Phoenix police said Michael Sanders killed his wife, teen daughter and brother in law, before setting his wife on fire and killing himself.

Hillan's wife said her husband's copy-cat plot has a lesson.

"We should take all instances of potential violence and find the positive," she said. "Find where we could prevent it, what could we have done differently and not react with such anger and hatred."

Instead of hate, she said Hillan needs help.

"He's just someone that, we're going through a tough time and [he] just didn't handle it the right way. And I think looking back on it there were some things and indication that maybe he could have gotten some help," said Hillan's wife.

Hillan and his wife have a 3-year-old daughter together. There's no indication she was a target of Hillan's suspected murder plot. Hillan is in jail facing two counts of attempted first degree murder.