A man arrested for allegedly killing his former girlfriend over 20 years after the murder declared his love for the slain woman as he was taken away in cuffs.
Edward V. Holley, 42, was charged in the murder of 20-year-old Megan McDonald, the daughter of an NYPD detective.
Holley has been accused of beating McDonald to death in the backseat of her car and of dumping her body on the side of the road in March 2003.
As the man, who has been in a wheelchair since an accident in 2007, was wheeled away he protested his indictment and proclaimed his innocence.
Holley, who had been in a relationship with McDonald before her death, said: “I’m definitely not guilty. I love Megan with all my heart.”
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As McDonald’s family looked on, Holley insisted: “They’re framing me like some monkey, but it’s all good.”
But the young woman’s sister, Karen Whalen, and brother-in-law, James Whalen, did not buy his claims and branded Holley a “monster.”
James also referred to the suspected killer as a “coward” and a “vile human being.” He added: “Do not let his current appearance fool you.”
According to New York State Police, Holley had already been serving time since 2021 because of an unrelated drug charge.
Investigators said they used new DNA technology to crack the 20-year-old murder mystery to re-analyse evidence collected when McDonald was first found.
NY State Police Lieutenant Brad Natalizio said: “We used modern-day technology and applied it to 2003, and we were able to come up with good results to assist the case … within the past year.”
Natalizio said McDonald’s family “never game up” and continued to assist authorities in their investigation as he said they were “very grateful” for their help.
According to the felony complaint, Holley “knowingly and intentionally caused the death of Megan McDonald by striking her multiple times in the head with a blunt instrument.”
The complaint claimed McDonald had tried to break off her relationship with the alleged killer only days before her death, and the exchange had resulted in an argument.
The document added that Holley “owed the victim a substantial amount of money that was causing hostility between the two leading up to the homicide.”
Witnesses also reported having seen the man’s purple Honda Civic tailing McDonald’s own car on the morning of the murder, reporting Holley’s vehicle was “the loudest car in town.”
Natalizio said Holley had previously not been considered a potential suspect “because there was an original suspect the police and even the suspect were focused on.”
The pathologist found McDonald had died after suffering repeated blunt-force trauma to the head.
Natalizio had previously described her death as the result of a “crime of passion”, suggesting the investigation had exposed evidence of “intimate partner violence”.
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