Jennifer Morrisey, 34, faced the first day of testimony Thursday in her trial for allegedly killing her “sugar daddy” Michael McNew, who was shot dead in August 2017 at his Washington Crossing home, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Prosecutors argued in opening statements that Morrisey was “taken care of” by the pharmaceutical executive, but the relationship started heading south after four years together.
The pair — who met at a strip club where Morrisey worked — reportedly argued via text messages in the hours leading up to McNew’s death. In the messages, McNew threatened to shoot his lover and in turn, Morrisey said she would “gut” him like she was “field dressing a deer,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
“You don’t have to like the fact that there is a big age difference and you don’t have to approve of the type of relationship they had,” Assistant District Attorney Kristin McElroy told the court. “But he didn’t deserve to die because of it.”
The prosecution said they believe she shot McNew between the eyes then fled the house, only to return hours later to stage the crime scene as a robbery.
“The crime scene, the forensic evidence, and actions of the defendant all point to one thing: She went there, she pointed a deadly weapon at him, and she shot him once between the eyes. That is murder,” McElroy told the court, according to the newspaper.
The defense team, however, claim the pair struggled over the firearm when Morrisey returned to pick up some belongings and the shooting was accidental. Her attorney, S. Philip Steinberg, said Morrisey entered “panic mode” after the shooting because she didn’t think authorities would believe her version of events.
“She does everything she possibly can to make this justified shooting look justified,” Steinberg said, “because she thought no one would believe her.”
Morrisey is being tried for murder, burglary, possession of instruments of crime and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
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