Pennsylvania prosecutors say a 33-year-old woman fatally shot her 64-year-old “sugar daddy” boyfriend after he ended their relationship, then faked a robbery to hide the crime.
Jennifer Lynn Morrissey, a 33-year-old motorcycle mechanic and exotic dancer, is charged with murdering Michael Dennis McNew, a 64-year-old pharmaceutical company executive, who provided the younger woman with lodging, paid her bills, bought her gifts, and even paid her legal fees from past crimes.
McNew and Morrissey apparently met in 2015, and McNew invited the young lady to live in his home at Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania, in January of that year. She referred to him as her “sugar daddy,” NBC 10 Philadelphia reported.
By August of 2017, McNew had decided Morrissey needed to go. On Aug. 6 he told her by text that she had to leave and that he was going to box up all her belongings. Other texts told her that she was no longer welcome at his home and that he would defend himself if she came over.
Morrissey responded with texted threats of violence.
“get the gun ready cause I’m coming. I already told you that I’ll be there tonight. Guess your just going to have to shoot me or I’m going to stab ya,” said one of the texts the District Attorney read to the judge, reported MyCrimeTime.
Another text message stated, “you have a choice—touch my stuff and I cut your throat.”
Morrissey’s lawyer claimed the killing was accidental, part of a struggle between McNew and Morrissey, and that Morrissey feared for her life.
“She came to her home to retrieve some belongings and struggled over a firearm and Mr. McNew unfortunately was shot and killed,” Morrissey’s lawyer, Phillip Steinberg, said at a two-hour preliminary hearing on Monday, according to NBC 10.
“I don’t believe she’s a victim,” prosecutor Deputy District Attorney Chris Rees said.
Talked Freely About Her Crime
According to the Buck’s County District Attorney’s Office, Morrissey began talking to another inmate while in a holding cell shortly after her arrest for an “unrelated matter.” She told the inmate that she had gone to McNew’s house and shot him with his own gun, then staged a robbery, even burying McNews’ cell phone and laptop in the backyard of her new boyfriend, 55-year old Charles Kulow, apparently to implicate him in the crime.
Morrissey also messaged McNew on Facebook after his death, possibly to make it seem as if she thought he was alive.
Morrissey told her cellmate the killing was an accident. Morrissey said she was trying to unload the gun after grabbing it from McNew when it accidentally went off, striking McNew in the face.
She said she left the crime scene, but then came back to try to make it look like a robbery.
The inmate then told investigators what Morrissey had told her.
According to Mail Online, three other inmates also said Morrissey had told them about the crime. One said Morrissey was afraid GPS information from her cellphone might put her at the crime scene.
When investigators confronted her with her own words, Morrissey told them that she had indeed killed McNew on the night of Aug. 6, News 10 reported.
Morrissey said she wrapped the gun in a bandana and fled the scene, returning the next day to rearrange the crime scene to look like a robbery.
Investigators found Morrissey’s DNA inside McNew’s pants pockets. Apparently she turned his pockets inside out to reinforce the robbery scenario, NBC 10 reported.
Police found a pistol and a rifle in McNew’s home, both registered to McNew. They also found shell casings next to his body which did not match either gun.
Morrissey was charged with criminal homicide, burglary, tampering with or fabricating evidence and possessing an instrument of crime, according to court documents.
McNew was a District Sales Manager/Pharmaceutical Executive for AbbVie. He has two adult children and grandchildren and had been divorced for 11 years.
Morrissey had no felony record. She had been cited in the past for speeding and driving with a revoked or suspended license in 2013 and failing to vaccinate a pet in 2010.