Local News

Raleigh Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Wife

Posted April 14, 2007
Updated April 15, 2007

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A Raleigh man accused of running down his wife, then killing her with his bare hands nearly two years ago pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder.

Michael Massenburg, 39, was sentenced to 25 to 30 years in prison, Wake County Assistant District Attorney Howard Cummings said.

Massenburg went to trial last month for killing his wife, Dujuana "Toni" Stallings Massenburg, 34, in May 2005, but a jury deadlocked between convicting him of first- or second-degree murder and could not reach a unanimous verdict. The presiding judge declared a mistrial.

Cummings said Massenburg also admitted to being out on a pretrial release after having assaulted his wife in March 2005. Because of that admission, the judge sentenced him to more time in prison than he would have if a jury convicted him of second-degree murder.

Prosecutors argued that Massenburg chased Toni Massenburg's minivan on several residential streets, ran her off the road, beat and strangled her with her seatbelt. He then admitted to police that he killed his wife, prosecutors said.

Defense attorneys implied that she died after her seatbelt malfunctioned.

Two months prior to her death, Toni Massenburg took out a restraining order against her husband. Because they shared custody of their three children, however, they continued to have contact.

Toni Massenburg's sister and Michael Massenburg's parents are caring for the children.


Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Lilyank Apr 16, 2007

    I am so glad that they didn't let him off because of the "seatbelt malfunction" crap!! He deserves to get the death penalty!! My prayers are def. for the victim's family.

  • Lightfoot Apr 16, 2007

    I could see it technically being second degree murder, but agree that he deserves the death penalty, no matter which degree of murder he committed.

    “Seatbelt malfunction”? The lawyers need to be punished in some fashion for knowingly presenting false information.

    Cyn, sorry to see you getting attacked out here for making so called “stupidest comments”. Your experience is not an anomaly as others try to suggest. There are TONS of documented cases where the cops chastised the victim. The bottom line is if it’s a case of life and death, you can’t count on anyone but yourself to get out of harm’s way. The police, or anyone for that matter, can’t show up in enough time to help you. My opinion is to get a weapon and learn to use it.

  • FiveOclocksomewhere Apr 16, 2007

    25 to 30 years...he killed someone...he should have gotten LIFE!

  • ifcdirector Apr 16, 2007

    These days the police will show up to do the paperwork on you after you are dead and a restraining order is not worth the paper it's written on to some psycho like this. Get a handgun and take classes and learn to use it and make sure that if you are in a situation like this that the crazy stalking party knows about your new found interest in firearms too. It's your right to protect yourself and no one is going to do it for you and no one cares more about your protection than you.

  • msncdso Apr 15, 2007

    If you can't protect yourself, you don't have a prayer. Even if it means a prison sentence. Restraining orders are not worth the paper they're written on, law enforcement can't be there around the clock to protect you and the abusers know it.

  • nc lover Apr 15, 2007

    Should of been 1st degree murder and should of got the death
    sentance. Coward till the END!

  • wrathpower71 Apr 15, 2007

    Well it is very sad to know that someone has to use physical force against another. From my experience, the courts do a very good job of handling what they want. Us real men didnt have a chance. My ex used every law out there and trick and still manipulates the system to attempt to get what she wants. Let it be known I NEVER BEAT HER, not my character eventhough its clear her father didnt raise her properly as well. Mental issues resulting in abusing another is crazy to me. However these women out there that use the system to get over on men after they have used the man to get all they can from them and then thrash them looking for the next must have some merit of someone getting a good ole whipping no?
    Best advice for a woman or man dealing with this type situation, first time something like that happens, BYE.. Holla atcha.. Not even worth the stress, anger and disgrace for urself.. And yeah right they come after u for child support yet making more than the man often. 2 sides always

  • rainy39 Apr 15, 2007

    When my ex beat me I had gone to the police dept and the detective took the pictures etc. I stayed away from my apt for over 12 hours so the police would have time to serve him and pick him up..they couldnt find him in that time so I had to ask them to go to my apt and make sure no one was there and allow me in my own home. I locked all the doors and windows and listened for every creek of a door. It took them 9 days to pick him up, lock him up and that was only after I called them to see if they had found him yet. Oh by the way, he was at his job when they arrested him, they really had looked for him hard huh? I had to go to work all bruised and bloody and afraid to move cause he might be lurking somewhere. It isnt always as easy as people who havent been there think it is.

  • Low Voltage Apr 15, 2007

    Where's Big al?

  • neednewgov Apr 15, 2007