Ex-Marine Gets Life in Prison After Pleading Guilty to Wife's Murder

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- A former Camp Lejeune Marine will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty to killing his wife, an Army nurse, officials said.

Multiple media outlets reported that Cpl. John Wimunc pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree murder in the 2008 death of his wife, Army 2nd Lt. Holley Lynn Wimunc, 24, of Dubuque, Iowa.

Firefighters found Wimunc's charred remains in a shallow grave in a woods near Camp Lejeune. The nurse at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg had been reported missing two days after investigators found her apartment had been set on fire.

Holley Wimunc had been shot and dismembered before her remains were burned and wrapped in an air mattress, an autopsy said. Her death was one of three high-profile killings of female soldiers in Fayetteville during the summer of 2008.

The Wimuncs were divorcing after being married for about a year.

John Wimunc, who was 23 at the time of his wife's death, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson, his attorney said. He pleaded guilty Monday and will be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole,

Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis told WRAL-TV.

Defense attorney D.W. Bray told The Fayetteville Observer that the plea agreement with the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office spared Wimunc the possibility of the death penalty.

The plea was announced Monday in Superior Court. Wimunc didn't speak during the hearing except to answer the judge's questions, Bray said.

Another Marine, Lance Cpl. Kyle Ryan Alden, has been charged with assisting Wimunc in destruction of evidence, burying the body and trying to throw investigators off by offering up a phony alibi.