As tears streamed down his face, the husband of a Massachusetts elementary school teacher found dead in their Revere home last weekend was ordered held without bail Wednesday in connection with her killing.
Andrew MacCormack, 29, was arraigned in Chelsea District Court after his arrest the day before on a murder charge in his wife Vanessa MacCormack's death.
Police said the body of 30-year-old Vanessa MacCormack was found Saturday in their home beaten, stabbed, and strangled.
Investigators said Andrew MacCormack had been spending hundreds of dollars on drugs every week, and his wife found out and texted him threatening to consult a divorce lawyer if he didn't "shape up."
MacCormack allegedly responded, “Ur crazy, I will never sign anything.”
Prosecutors allege that MacCormack murdered his wife on Saturday before traveling to Saugus to complete a carpentry job – bringing his 1-year-old daughter along with him to the work site.
Authorities believe the child was home at the time of the killing.
Throughout the day, MacCormack received phone calls from his in-laws, who had grown concerned after they were unable to reach her by phone. MacCormack also sent text messages to his wife’s phone, which prosecutors said he had with him at the time.
MacCormack eventually left the work site after the baby soiled her diaper and traveled to East Boston, where he withdrew cash from an ATM to purchase cocaine, prosecutors said.
He received another phone call from a member of his wife’s family as he arrived at the couple’s Revere home.
MacCormack told that relative he had found his wife's body, and to call 911. The relative did so. MacCormack, however, did not call 911 until a few minutes after the relative, prosecutors said.
When police arrived, they said the house smelled strongly of bleach, and areas of the home appeared to have been freshly cleaned. MacCormack had a rash covering his upper body which he blamed on a change in laundry detergent brands, which police said was contradicted by evidence at the scene. The victim’s body also had chemical burns that suggested bleach had been poured on her.
A medical examiner found that Vanessa MacCormack had blunt head trauma, stab and slash wounds to the neck, and signs of both strangulation and suffocation, the latter possibly from a trash bag that was over her head.
Prosecutors said cell phone records and surveillance video from numerous locations aided in the arrest.
Neighbors of the couple described the scene Saturday afternoon as "chaotic."
"I saw some guy pull up getting really violent. Had his shirt off, punching the back of the car, getting really violent," neighbor Julia Gioioso said.
Defense attorney John Hayes said his client denies killing his wife. He said the couple was struggling but was going to "look forward to a life together."
Neighbor Lou Falzarano said his heart goes out to the family.
"It's really troublesome dealing with this, the news and everything that's going on. It's a difficult situation," he said.
Vanessa MacCormick taught second grade in the Lynn School District.
Lynn school officials said grief counselors will be available all week for students and staff members of Connery Elementary School, where she taught.
"Vanessa was loved by students, parents, and colleagues. She was involved in every aspect of the school and a great friend to everyone on staff," Dr. Mary Dill, the Connery Elementary principal, said in a statement earlier this week.
MacCormack is due back in court Oct. 27.