State News

Family, attorney: Marine charged in wife's death is innocent

Posted July 17, 2008

— The family and lawyer of a Marine charged with killing his estranged wife, an Army nurse, expressed their belief in his innocence at a press conference at the Cumberland County Courthouse on Thursday afternoon.

John Wimunc is "a man who believes in family, God and country and who served his nation honorably," his lawyer, D.W. Bray, said.

"Johnny is a loving, big-hearted person," his father, Florian Wimunc, said. "Johnny considers everyone a friend, constantly striving for their safety and happiness."

Bray asked for Wimunc to be tried in the court of law, not the media. He said he thinks Wimunc can be tried fairly in Cumberland County, where he is charged with first-degree murder, arson and felony conspiracy in the death of Army 2nd Lt. Holley L. Wimunc, 24, a maternity ward nurse at Fort Bragg's Womack Army Medical Center.

Bray noted that Wimunc had served two tours of duty overseas as a Marine and "saw substantially heavy combat in Iraq." Florian Wimunc, though, would not comment on whether he believes his son suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome.

"In John's time of grief, all we want to do as parents is just to hug him," Florian Wimunc said.

Holley Wimunc was last seen on the evening of July 8, and she was reported missing two days later when a co-worker went to her Fayetteville apartment because she didn't show up for work. The co-worker found the remnants of a fire and called police.

Crews fighting a brush fire near Sneads Ferry on Sunday found charred human remains, and investigators said paraphernalia at the scene led them to believe the remains were those of Holley Wimunc.

The Wimuncs had been married for about a year and were going through a divorce. In a statement before his arrest, John Wimunc's parents denied that the separation was bitter.

In May, Holley Wimunc sought a restraining order against her husband after, she wrote in court papers, he knocked her down, held a loaded 9mm pistol to her head and then held it to his own head and threatened to commit suicide.

Lana Wimunc said she spoke to her son on the day of the fight and that he did not sound intoxicated, as Holley Wimunc claimed in the court papers.

"The paperwork was filed, but the facts were false," his parents said in the statement.

The case was dismissed after Holley Wimunc failed to show up at a May 28 court hearing to extend a protection order against John Wimunc. 

Marine Cpl. Kyle Alden also is charged with first-degree arson, felony conspiracy and accessory after the fact of murder. Authorities said Alden helped set fire to Holley Wimunc's apartment to dispose of evidence and also helped establish an alibi for John Wimunc.

The two men's next court date is Aug. 5.


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  • Here kitty kitty Jul 18, 2008

    Of course he's innocent. That's why he looks so torn up and grief-stricken...

  • spotted horse rider Jul 18, 2008

    Most mother's do love their children unconditionally. There is however, a difference in love and believing you child can do no wrong. This mother needs to open her eyes and face reality. . .

  • AM is Back to Being Immaculate Jul 18, 2008

    It's sad that you people are convicting him and yet you know little to no fact. You're the rason why criminals get new trials.

  • Anne N Jul 18, 2008

    This is sick people, if my kids commited murder then they need to pay the price. the mom is just as sick as him for trying to pertect him. sick, sick, sick people in the world. Geeze...wounder where he gets it from.

  • BUCKEYEnNC Jul 18, 2008

    A mother's love is un-conditional! Whether or not she is his adoptive or step mother, she obviously loves him as her own.

    With that said, she's doing what a mother does. She's holding out hope that her son could not possibly have done this. The facts as they are being presented, says that he probably did kill his wife.

    I think the Mom and the attorney shouldn't be making any statements to the media. The initial reminder to everyone that he's innocent until proven guilty was enough. Now they should focus on getting ready for the trial.

    If he did it, he sould fess up!

    It's such a shame. Why can't people just walk away? Why doesn't it have to come to someone losing their life? I'll never understand this.

  • Defcon Labs Jul 18, 2008

    It is Unit Core God Country

  • dogman1973 Jul 18, 2008

    Beachbum1---a lot of times, family and the Corps are synonymous with one another…some who serve only have the Corps or whatever branch as their one and only family! But likely the father here was meaning family separately from the Corps.

  • doubletrouble Jul 18, 2008

    I'm sure Jeffery Dahmer's parents were behind him 100%, same as Kermit Smith's parents. No matter how well you raise your child, try to do teach them the best you can..they can really mess up in life. That may/maybe not be the case here, we will have to wait for the evidence to be provided. The Defense is aready prepping with the "War Vet Card", probably to fall back on mental instability, in case the evidence is overwhelming. Either way, am sure these gent's parents are heartbroken...but, nothing like Holly's parents.

  • Queenie Jul 18, 2008

    Here we go with the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, probably had a bad childhood, etc., etc., etc. I'm tired of this cop-out, some people are just mean and evil. Let's get real people!

  • beachbum1 Jul 18, 2008

    John Wimunc is "a man who believes in family, God and country and who served his nation honorably," his lawyer, D.W. Bray, said.

    That's NOT what the Marines teach them, correct me if I am wrong but family does not come first. I believe it was Corp and God then 3rd was family.