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Alleged Gambling Addict Sentenced To Life For Killing Wife, Faking Her Suicide
The Londonberry, New Hampshire man was tracked down to a casino the day after his wife was killed.
A one-time physician's assistant from New Hampshire has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for the murder of his wife.
William Argie, 49, was convicted on Monday of first degree murder and falsification of criminal evidence in the 2019 death of his wife, Maureen Argie, 39, reported Law & Crime. Rockingham County Superior Court Judge Marguerite Wageling handed down the life sentence on Tuesday after Maureen Argie's family members gave victim impact statements to the court.
"Your selfish, narcissistic, and possibly addicted-fueled behavior led to the devastation of your family," Wageling told Argie, according to Law & Crime.
Maureen Argie's body was discovered at her home in Londonberry on April 4, 2019 after police conducted a welfare check, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader. Her death was immediately deemed "suspicious" according to Boston's WHDH.
William Argie was tracked down at "a Connecticut casino" on April 5, and it was determined that he had attempted suicide, according to the North Andover Eagle-Tribune. (There are only two casinos in Connecticut: Mohegan Sun in Uncasville and Foxwoods in Mashantucket.)
William Argie was indicted by a grand jury in his wife's death and then arrested in June 2019, according to a press release from the New Hampshire Department of Justice. Prosecutors accused him of "strangling and/or smothering" his wife. He waived arraignment and pleaded not guilty in December 2019, the Union Leader reported; his trial was delayed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Eagle-Tribune.
Prosecutors alleged in charging documents and then at trial that the former physician's assistant was a gambling addict who was deeply in debt and on the verge of bankruptcy, according to the papers. The Derry News reported that prosecutors said an attempted intervention by the family the year before the murder had no effect on William Argie's addiction.
Prosecutors presented evidence at trial that Maureen Argie was actively pursuing a divorce as a result of her husband's financial situation, including making plans to sell the couple's home and gain primary custody of their two elementary school-age children. They also presented evidence that Maureen Argie called the Londonberry Police the week before her murder to make sure her phone could make emergency calls, and told her father just days before her murder that she was worried her husband was monitoring her cell phone.
Prosecutors also called to the stand — testimony that William Argie's lawyers tried unsuccessfully to exclude, the Union Leader reported — Argie's gambling buddy, James Timbas. Timbas told police that Argie tried to hire him to to kill Maureen Argie and make it look like a suicide in exchange for a cut of her $400,000 life insurance policy. Timbas said that William Argie was so drunk that he didn't take the offer very seriously, but that Argie often said "he would be better off without" his wife, reported Law & Crime.
Another friend, Dan Larochelle, testified that Argie often talked of killing his wife and gaining custody of their children — and suggested he might hire a hit man.
Argie took the stand in his own defense on Friday and testified that he'd found Maureen Argie dead as a result of suicide on April 4, 2019, but instead of calling police or his wife's family, he took his wife's car and cell phone to the casino where he was found the following day, Law & Crime reported. (He denied allegations that he used his wife's debit card at a Dunkin Donuts en route or to pay for his hotel room at the casino, though her card was used after her death for both purchases.)
When asked by prosecutors why he failed to report his wife's alleged suicide, Argie replied, "What would 911 do, sir?"
Both the defense and prosecutors presented their closing arguments on Monday; the jury returned a guilty verdict that day.