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Woman Accused Of Husband's Murder Shot Him While He Was 'Naked And In Bed With The TV On,' Prosecutor Says

Marylue Wigglesworth has said she fatally shot husband David Wigglesworth in self-defense during a violent altercation, but prosecutors have cast doubt on her version of events.

By Dorian Geiger
Wives Who Brutally Killed

A New Jersey woman allegedly opened fire on her spouse while he laid in bed on Christmas Day, prosecutors said, despite her claims she acted in self-defense.

Marylue Wigglesworth, 51, was jailed for the holiday killing her husband, David Wigglesworth, who prosecutors say was “naked and in bed with the TV on” when he was killed last week in Mays Landing, a community about 20 miles west of Atlantic City.

Marylue, however, has insisted she fatally shot her spouse in self-defense following an altercation at the couple's home, NBC News reported.

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Hamilton Township police were dispatched to the 200 block of Mays Landing Somers Point Road at around 10:19 p.m. on Dec. 25 after reports of an injured man, according to prosecutors.

Upon arrival, authorities found David suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office said in a press release. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators recovered a pistol from the home’s bedroom where the shooting allegedly occurred, per a probable cause affidavit, The Press of Atlantic City reported.

A police handout of Marylue Wigglesworth

Marylue, who called 911, told emergency dispatchers that she and her husband had been involved in a fight that turned violent. She claimed to have later opened fire on David in self-defense, per court records. The New Jersey woman also admitted to pulling the trigger to an on-scene officer following the deadly incident.

David’s manner of death was later ruled a homicide by the Southern Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, prosecutors said. He died of a single gunshot wound, according to the autopsy.

Marylue was later booked into the Atlantic County Justice Facility. She hasn’t yet entered a plea on her behalf. 

On Tuesday, Atlantic County Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy rejected the idea that the shooting was an act of self-defense. Levy said in court that David was “naked and in bed with the TV on” when he was fatally shot by his wife, The Press of Atlantic City reported.

The jailed New Jersey woman’s lawyers, however, who vowed to clear her name, said Marylue had “feared for her life” when she shot and killed David.

“A tragedy occurred on Christmas evening,” her attorneys, Jonathan E. Diego and Melissa Rosenblum, said in a statement sent to NBC News. “Ms. Wigglesworth is innocent of the charge against her. ... The facts of that heart-rending evening will unfold in a court of law, not the court of public opinion.” 

David, 57, was active in Republican circles in New Jersey’s Hamilton Township, according to reports. He previously held the title of president of the Planning Board, The Press of Atlantic City reported. In 2012, he lost a race for Township Committee when he ran on a Republican ticket.

“He was a dedicated member of the party and worked tirelessly to support many Republican campaigns over the years, including his own,” Hamilton Township Republicans said in a statement on Dec. 27. “We send our prayers to his son and his extended family.”

Authorities haven’t released additional information regarding the open investigation.

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