A Massachusetts man was found guilty of viciously strangling, stabbing and beating his wife—a beloved elementary school teacher—to death in the couple’s home in 2017 while their 1-year-old daughter was in the home.
Andrew MacCormack, 31, was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Vanessa Masucci, also known as Vanessa MacCormack, on the seventh day of jury deliberations, according to local station WBZ-TV.
“We can’t say we’re happy. You can never be truly happy after you’ve experienced this. But my daughter can rest in peace now. Justice was served,” the victim’s mother, Karen Masucci, said after the verdict was announced.
MacCormack will receive an automatic life sentence for the slaying of the Lynn elementary school teacher—who had grown fed up with her husband’s “erratic and evasive behavior” in the months before she was killed and had planned to leave the marriage, according to a statement from the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.
According to prosecutors, MacCormack had stolen money from his wife’s personal bank account to support his drug habit. Her wedding ring—and the replacement purchased by insurance—mysteriously disappeared in the months leading up to the murder and MacCormack pawned his own ring for $120 at an area pawn shop.
Just a month before she was killed, she had expressed her intention to leave the marriage in a text message sent to MacCormack telling him she wanted to sell their house and had planned to hire a divorce attorney.
But on Sept. 23, 2017, Masucci was violently killed. The beloved teacher suffered severe blunt force trauma to her face and head, The Boston Globe reports. Stab and slash wounds were also found on her neck and evidence showed she had been strangled with “pretty extreme force” causing the cartilage to break in her windpipe, Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Ian Polumbaum said in opening statements of the trial.
“In addition to the injuries that took her life, Vanessa’s body sustained chemical burns after her death. The evidence showed that these burns, and a rash that [Andrew MacCormack] had on his own upper body, were caused by bleach that the defendant used in an attempt to clean up the scene,” the statement from prosecutors said.
After the murder, prosecutors said MacCormack drove around on “random routes” in Revere before bringing his young daughter with him to complete a carpentry job—even texting his wife to make it appear as though he thought she was alive. After completing the job, he bought $100 in cocaine from his usual dealer.
He later arrived home—with the victim’s worried mom on the phone—and pretended to discover the body, prosecutors said.
“Vanessa Masucci’s future was violently ripped away from her by the person who took an oath, promising to love and care for her. I will not refer to Vanessa by her married name because the man who took her life will also not take her identity,” District Attorney Rachael Rollins said in the statement. “Vanessa’s loved ones—her parents, her siblings, and her daughter—have been left with a void in their hearts and questions that can never be answered.”
MacCormack’s public defender, John Hayes, had argued that MacCormack did not have any scratches or bruises “consistent with a brutal assault against a healthy woman,” according to The Boston Globe.
He said the rash prosecutors believed had come from cleaning up the crime scene with bleach had actually appeared days earlier.
However, after deliberating for seven days, the jury rejected that explanation and convicted MacCormack.
In a statement after the verdict, Vanessa’s aunt Maria Masucci said that although the verdict gives the family “peace of mind” it does not change the outcome for Vanessa.
“He will now have to pay for what he did to Vanessa,” she said. “So did we get justice today? Yes, by the laws of the court, and a big thank you to the jury for that. But no in the fact that this evil animal is alive and breathing while Vanessa is not.”
Vincent Masucci, the victim’s father, called the last few years “so tough” but said he was glad “the jury got it together and did the right thing,” according to The Globe.
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