Category: Archive

Held on murder charge

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

McGurk has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his former girlfriend, Michele Lee, but is nevertheless being held in Riker’s Island prison pending his next court appearance on June 4.
McGurk, 23, was born in Tyrone but moved to New York as a child with his family.
McGurk, with an address at 48-56 58th Place in Woodside, was arraigned last Friday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman on a six-count indictment charging him with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
“If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison,” a statement from the queens District Attorney’s office said.
McGurk, a student at John Jay College of Criminal justice and a member of the college’s soccer team, is charged with murdering his former girlfriend, Michelle Lee, who was employed as a civilian criminologist for the New York City Police Department.
The indictment, handed down after a grand jury hearing, charges that McGurk murdered Lee “on or about April 26, 2009, by striking her in the head with a blunt instrument and stabbing her in the neck with a knife. Ms. Lee’s body was discovered bound to her bed by her roommate in their third-floor apartment at 45-23 41st Street in Sunnyside, Queens, on the morning of Monday, April 27,” the statement from the DA’s office added.
Justice Cooperman ordered McGurk held without bail and to return to court on June 4.
“The young woman had a bright and promising future which was abruptly cut short by her brutal and senseless murder, allegedly at the hands of the defendant. This case will be vigorously prosecuted to ensure that justice is served on behalf of the victim and her family,” said Queens District Attorney, Richard Brown.
The victim had had been tied to the bed and repeatedly stabbed. Lee, who graduated from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, had been employed by the NYPD since September 2008 and was assigned to its Queens lab.
According to a Daily News report, McGurk, whose father was reportedly once a member of the IRA, had conned thousands of dollars from Lee.
The report stated that Lee’s body had also shown evidence of being seared with a hot iron after she had died.
McGurk, who was well known in social circles in his Woodside neighborhood, was arrested Thursday night of last week at his mother’s house in Woodside by detectives from the 108 Precinct.
Citing police sources, the Daily News said that Lee had kept the relationship with McGurk from her parents and friends but described his “seduction campaign” in her diary.
“The brazen student told Lee he was broke and suffering from cancer, and that he could not afford or get medical insurance, so she gave him money,” the report stated.
And it added that investigators do not believe that Lee was the first to fall for McGurk’s “con job.” McGurk, they said, was a “professional student” who bilked unsuspecting young women to bankroll his life.
McGurk was also a frequent contributor to web sites where he wrote in detail about himself, sometimes in an unflattering and at the same time unapologetic way.

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