It was Valentine’s Day 2009 and former Georgia attorney Alec McNaughton and his wife Cathy celebrated the holiday by exchanging cards and gifts over a nice breakfast together. They each expressed their love for each other in the cards, shared chocolates, and somehow within hours, Cathy would lay dead after being stabbed 31 times in their home office.
Alec McNaughton said he came home around 730 pm to find his wife lying unresponsive in her own blood and called 911. Once the ambulance arrived, the paramedics could tell that she was not only dead, but had been for quite some time. Rigor mortis and lividity had already set in. There was no sign of forced entry or burglary in the house. Investigators found evidence of Cathy’s blood on towels that were in the bathroom near a container of bleach. Was someone attempting to clean up the crime scene after committing the crime?
Alec claims that the last time he saw his wife, Cathy McNaughton, was after breakfast around 11:00 a.m. He said he drove to his mothers house in a nearby town and was there for the remainder of the day, until he came home and found his wife dead at 7:30 that evening. However, when police obtained Alecs cell phone records they saw that a call had been made from his cell phone to the home phone around 2:30 that afternoon. When the cell phone tower pings were obtained from that call, the phone registered at a tower just two miles from his home. There was no way, investigators said, that he could have been where he alleged he was, and have his phone ping off of that tower. Neighbors also said they remember seeing his car at the house that afternoon, though he did later leave. Could Alec have snapped, killed his wife in a rage, attempted to clean up the evidence that could implicate him, and then leave in the afternoon to produce an alibi?
Those closest to the couple knew that they were having financial struggles and had talked about separation. There had even been a violent episode in which Cathy had been dragged by her hair out of the car and across the driveway by Alec. She had taken pictures of her wounds and stored them in her closet, unbeknownst to Alec. A friend of Cathy’s led investigators to the box where there were pictures and documentation of his previous violent outburst against her. The famous if anything happens to me, he did it claim was echoed by Cathy’s friends and family.
This was Alec McNaughtons fourth marriage and all three of his previous wives testified in his trial that he had also been violent and threatening with them in the past. Though the violence he showed them was never pushed to the extent that it was with Cathy, he was still abusive to them, showing that this was a behavior that he did possess as a part of his character.
In his trial, Alec McNaughton was found guilty of murder in the first degree and also guilty on the charge of aggravated assault. It was said that the majority of the stabs he made to Cathy were after she was already dead, making this an aggravated crime. He was sentenced to life plus 20 years in prison for both charges. His appeals to the Georgia courts have been denied.
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