Woman convicted of 1st-degree murder in executive's slaying

Published 02-03-2019

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DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (AP) - The defense attorney representing a woman convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a pharmaceutical manager in suburban Philadelphia says he expects to file an appeal.

Jurors in Bucks County deliberated for 10 hours before convicting Jennifer Morrisey, 34, of Bensalem in the August 2017 death of 64-year-old Michael McNew. She was also convicted of evidence-tampering and possession of an instrument of a crime Friday but acquitted of burglary and criminal trespass.

Prosecutors say the killing happened during an argument after he asked her to move out of his Upper Makefield Township home. They said text messages showed an extended argument over her relationship with another man hours before the shooting.

Morrisey tearfully testified Thursday that the death was accidental. She said he drunkenly pointed a pistol at her, they wrestled over the weapon and it went off as she tried to unload it.

Defense attorney S. Philip Steinberg said he expected to appeal the verdict, saying his client, who faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole, "told her story, and told it in a truthful fashion."

Prosecutors, however, said McNew was asleep in a reclining chair when Morrissey crept into the house and shot him with his own handgun. Several of Morrisey's former cellmates testified that the former exotic dancer and motorcycle mechanic joked about killing her "sugar daddy" and adopted the nickname "Sug-slayer" while in the county prison.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees said he was grateful for the jury's decision to hold the defendant accountable.

"On the other hand, it's a bittersweet moment, because no matter what the jury does or did, Mr. McNew's loved ones, his family and friends, will never get to talk to him again," he said.

Deputy District Attorney Christopher Rees said he was grateful for the jury's decision to hold the defendant accountable.

"On the other hand, it's a bittersweet moment, because no matter what the jury does or did, Mr. McNew's loved ones, his family and friends, will never get to talk to him again," he said.

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