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Morgan McCaffrey's Teenage Ex-Boyfriend Handed Life Sentence For Her Brutal Murder
The now-convicted teenage killer tried to claim he didn't plan the murder, but jurors believed the evidence to the contrary.
A high school break-up in Pennsylvania culminated in a brutal murder last summer and this week a Pennsylvania court ruled that the deceased young woman's killer ex-boyfriend will spend the rest of his life behind bars.
A jury in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania took less than three hours to convict Gilbert Newton III, 19, of first-degree murder in the June 2020 stabbing death of his then-recent ex-girlfriend, 18-year-old Morgan McCaffery. The judge in the case then sentenced Newton to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
McCaffery was found stabbed to death in the parking lot of the Meadowbrook commuter rail station in Abington, north of Philadelphia, on July 27, 2020. In a press release issued by the Montgomery County District Attorney at the time, police responded to a call at around 8:15 a.m. and found McCaffery covered in blood, lying next to her still-running car. A witness reportedly saw a white Jeep driving away from the scene.
At approximately 10:00 a.m., Philadelphia Police responded to a 911 call by Newton's mother, and found him sitting on his sofa covered in blood, prosecutors stated in a probable cause affidavit obtained by the Philadelphia Inquirer. A white Jeep Patriot was parked outside.
McCaffrey, it was later determined, had been stabbed 30 times in the neck and chest. She had gone to the station that morning to meet Newton, with whom she had ended a romantic relationship two months before her death, according to news reports at the time. A friend told the police, as reported by the Inquirer, that Newton had been abusive in the relationship but had said he wanted to patch things up. McCaffery's boyfriend at the time of her murder said that Newton had been texting her the night before the murder, asking to discuss the break-up that morning.
Testimony at his trial showed that Newton brought two of his mother's kitchen knives to their planned public meet-up, the Inquirer reported. This was weeks after he both texted his mother that he would "stab [McCaffery] in the neck 57 times" upon seeing a picture of her with her new boyfriend on social media; he also texted McCaffrey that he would stab her.
Newton testified that, instead, he'd planned to kill himself in front of McCaffrey. But after he "insulted" her when she told him she was seeing someone else, she slapped and then spit on him, reported the Bucks County Courier-Times. That's when Newton started stabbing McCaffrey, he told the jury — but he said he did not intend to kill her, he said.
Prosecutors noted that, according to Newton's texts, he was already aware of the relationship and had already threatened to kill her over it. They also showed the jury evidence that Newton, who claimed he did not remember much of the murder, texted his mother afterward: "I killed Morgan about an hour ago. There was no stopping me," the Courier-Times reported.
During the sentencing hearing after Newton's conviction, the Inquirer reported that McCaffery's mother, Kathleen, called Newton "a living monster."
“This isn’t just a life sentence for you, Gil. This is a life sentence you have imposed on all of us,” she said. “I hate you. I will always hate you, and I will never speak your name again.”