Ex-Nurse Faces Life in Husband’s Murder

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 26, 2005

TRENTON, N.J. – A former nurse convicted of shooting her husband, hacking up his body and stuffing the parts into three suitcases she tossed into the Chesapeake Bay hopes to avoid a sentence of life in prison.

Melanie McGuire, 34, was convicted in April of murder, desecration of a corpse, perjury and a weapons offense. She faces 30 years to life in prison.

Prosecutors are pushing for the maximum term when she is sentenced Thursday, which wouldn’t make McGuire eligible for parole until she was almost 100.

Email newsletter signup

The body parts of William McGuire, 39, were found in matching Kenneth Cole luggage that washed ashore in May 2004 near Norfolk, Va., nearly 300 miles from the couple’s Woodbridge, N.J., apartment.

“A valuable life was taken,” said his sister Cindy Ligosh, who planned to speak at the sentencing. “He was a wonderful person, and he will be so missed.”

During the trial, prosecutors said McGuire organized her husband’s murder using her expertise as a nurse to drug him, shoot him and cut him up so she could begin a new life with her lover, her boss at a fertility clinic.

The defense said McGuire had been abused by her husband and wanted to leave him. Her lawyers argued that the petite nurse was physically incapable of killing her 6-foot-3, 210-pound husband and that it would have been impossible to commit such a bloody crime without leaving behind physical evidence.

Stephen Turano said his client planned to appeal. “She maintains her innocence,” he said.

McGuire said in a television interview that aired before the jury returned its verdict that she did not kill her husband.

“No matter how I felt about my husband, I could not have done this to my sons,” she said.

A service of the Associated Press(AP)