Marylue Wigglesworth faces murder charge for shooting her husband

Marylue and David Wigglesworth

Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Patricia Wild refused to set a bond for a woman accused of shooting her husband dead on Christmas night.

Marylue Wigglesworth, 51, is accused of murder for the Dec. 25, 2022, shooting death of 57-year-old David B. Wigglesworth, a one-time Republican Party candidate for local office in the Town of Hempstead.

The defendant’s next scheduled court appearance is a pre-indictment conference before Superior Court Presiding Judge Bernard DeLury on Feb. 6, 2023.

Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Wild based her decision to deny bail on the “severity” of the charges.

In New Jersey, there is no monetary bail system. For lesser criminal charges, there is a presumption in favor of pre-trial release. For more serious charges, like murder, the presumption is for detention.

Her attorneys, Melissa Rosenblum and Jonathan Diego, insist their client is being “overcharged” and say Marylue Wigglesworth has not disputed that she shot and killed her husband, but the defense says that she “feared for her life” and acted in self-defense.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, the defendant called the police at 10:19 p.m. on Christmas night to request help because she and her husband were fighting.

“On December 25, 2022, at approximately 10:19 p.m., the Township of Hamilton Police Department responded to a residence on the 5200 block of Mays Landing Somers Point Rd., for an injured male,” said a press release from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. “Officers arrived to find the man, later identified as David B. Wigglesworth suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Mr. Wigglesworth was pronounced deceased at the scene.”

“The investigation resulted in the arrest of Marylue Wigglesworth for murder. Mrs. Wigglesworth was taken into custody and lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility,” said the press release.

Police arrived and found both of the Wigglesworths in the bedroom, along with a handgun, and the defendant admitted to shooting her husband.

Atlantic County Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy told the judge on Tuesday that David Wigglesworth was “naked and in bed with the TV on” when he was shot and killed by his wife.

The deceased was an active community member aside from politics. He served as the chair of the local planning board and was a volunteer with The Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City. His last ever Facebook post showed him enthused about grilling a steak.

Rosenblum, however, said his client Marylue Wigglseworth suffered abuse, including bruising and injuries to her arm and torso, from her husband that night – and said detectives have yet to share key information with the defense.

“What the state did not do and did not present, your honor, is that when she did talk to the police, she admitted that she shot him,” the attorney said, seeking to challenge a probable cause determination sustaining the murder charge. “She stated at least six times to the officers that there was a fight and an altercation. They never took pictures of her that night to see what her injuries or bruising were, or at least I have not received them, your honor.”

Rosenblum also argued, unsuccessfully, that Marylue Wigglesworth’s history of volunteering at local churches and her lack of criminal history suggest that she is not a danger to the community. She also reportedly said her client would not attempt any obstruction of justice were the defendant to be granted pre-trial release.

“The fact that she hasn’t been violent to the rest of the community is all well and good; however, she was extremely violent on this night,” Levy countered.

In the end, the judge sided with the state.

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