The father of a beloved Massachusetts teacher who was allegedly killed by her own husband recalled the moment he learned of his daughter's death in court on Wednesday.
Andrew MacCormack was arrested following the Sept. 23, 2017 death of 30-year-old Vanessa MacCormack, who was found strangled in her Revere home with stab wounds to her neck and face. He pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder charge and has maintained his innocence.
Vanessa's father, Vincent Masucci, took the stand Wednesday as the trial entered its second day. His wife also testified earlier in the day.
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Masucci testified that he got along well with his son-in-law, and truly believed Andrew was in love with his daughter. For a brief time, he said the two even lived in his home.
He began to cry as he described the moment when he learned that his daughter had been killed. His wife was on the phone with Andrew as they were checking out of a store.
"I got to the front of the counter," he said. "She said, 'She's dead.' Screaming... The whole store stopped and stared."
Masucci said when he and his wife arrived at the couple's home, he tried to get inside. A police officer told him, "Believe me, sir, you don't want to see her."
He said Andrew was there, and hugged him, saying, "I was supposed to protect her." He said Andrew also told him there was a trash bag over Vanessa's face when he found her.
Vanessa was a beloved mother and second-grade teacher at Connery Elementary School in Lynn. Her daughter, who was 1 at the time of the slaying, is believed to have been present during the murder but was found unharmed.
During opening statements on Tuesday, prosecutor Ian Polumbaum recalled the gruesome details of Vanessa’s injuries, and said it was possible that the stab wounds to her neck were "inflicted postmortem, as a gesture of overkill."
He said Andrew tried to clean up the crime scene with bleach, pouring some on the victim’s back, a claim investigators backed when they said Vanessa’s body had chemical burns consistent with that of bleach.
Polumbaum said Vanessa discovered her husband had been stealing money from her before her death. According to the prosecutor, the victim’s wedding ring went missing and she found out that her husband had forged checks to himself from an account she shared with her mother.
Investigators said Andrew spent up to $500 a week on cocaine until his wife found out. When she texted the defendant that she would consult a divorce attorney if he didn’t "shape up," he responded with, "Ur crazy, I will never sign anything."
The defendant's lawyer, John Hayes, said Tuesday that prosecutors have failed to establish that his client killed his wife. He said in text messages between the two there are accusations and criticism, but no threats or suggestions that the relationship was violent.
On the 911 call Andrew made after finding his wife's body, Hayes said "You will hear the pain. You will hear the terror. It's right there."