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Camp Lejeune Marine pleads guilty to killing wife

Posted September 13, 2010
Updated September 14, 2010

— Camp Lejeune Marine Cpl. John Wimunc pleaded guilty Monday to killing his wife two years ago, Cumberland County District Attorney Ed Grannis said.

The charred remains of Holley Wimunc, 24, a nurse at Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, were found July 13, 2008, in a shallow grave in a wooded area near Camp Lejeune. Her apartment in Fayetteville was found ablaze three days earlier, and she was nowhere to be found.

An autopsy determined that she had been shot and dismembered before her remains were burned and wrapped in an air mattress.

John Wimunc, 23, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson in his wife's death. In exchange for the plea, he avoided the possibility of a death sentence. He will serve the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole, Grannis told WRAL News.

Holley Wimunc's father, Jesse James, said Tuesday that he preferred the case being resolved through a plea deal than having to endure a capital trial.

"Those things go on endlessly, with endless appeals and opportunities to be overturned," James said from his home in Iowa. "This, at least, closes out the legal aspect of this tragedy with him going to prison for life."

The slaying created "a wide wake" and destroyed many lives, James said, noting he hears the anguish in the voice of John Wimunc's father whenever the two speak to each other.

Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Alden, 22, still faces charges of being an accessory after the fact of a felony, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson in the case.


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  • agglover Sep 24, 2010

    I was married to a marine for 12yrs, and the next time i married a navy man. I greatly appreciate what our military men and women do for our country. This killing stuff is ridiculous. Isn't it alot easier just to leave someone then to kill them. You get rid of the person that you wanted to but then you spend the rest of your life behind bars. No one is worth living behind bars for.........

  • C-2 Vettes Sep 14, 2010

    Prophetdavis08: I ask myself the same question all the time, but
    have no answer, whether or not it involves military personnel. It just keeps happening & I see NO excuse for it. Need to stop all this plea bargaining & costing us a fortune to keep them imprisoned forever. Do these perps really think they are going to get away w/this nonsense? As far as justice goes,I still have a bit of the 19th century view, other than ALL people MUST be treated be treated equally, regardless of race, color, creed, etc...but no 15+ years to settle it,especially murder 1,etc, & we need tougher judges.

  • Juncyard Sep 14, 2010

    I hate plea deals....
    Rewarding some lowlife for admitting guilt to something they did to save money or guarantee a conviction....well it's frustrating to say the least....

  • u stand corrected Sep 14, 2010

    "A few good men is right, they both are scum. See how they will lie for each other, happends all the time."

    A whole lotta Warriors have served with honor. Remember that.

  • SunnyNc35 Sep 14, 2010

    "soldiers have been killing their wives and children since the beginning of mankind. war is hell. - diana123 September 14, 2010 11:22 a.m."

    Sorry - Not all of them...please, do not generalize...it's not fair to the soldiers that have defended your rights with their lives...

  • prophetdavis08 Sep 14, 2010

    Killing is not the way, why didn't he just leave her if he didn't want to be with her!

  • u stand corrected Sep 14, 2010

    I absolutely agree this is awful, I just wish our fallen Warriors got this kind of headline coverage.

  • beachbum1 Sep 14, 2010

    A few good men is right, they both are scum. See how they will lie for each other, happends all the time.

  • Lead by Example Sep 14, 2010

    Glad the death penalty is still on the books in N.C.. If not then the family would have had to endure a trial and years of appeals, or this plea bargain would have had to be for 2nd degree murder and thus allowed him to be free again one day.

    A guilty plea resulting in life w/o parole is the best possible outcome in this terrible ordeals.

  • diana123 Sep 14, 2010

    soldiers have been killing their wives and children since
    the beginning of mankind. war is hell.