Local News

Lejeune Marine charged with murder in wife's death

Posted September 22, 2009 9:23 a.m. EDT
Updated September 23, 2009 4:36 p.m. EDT

— A Camp Lejeune Marine has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with his wife's death, which police say appears to be the result of a domestic altercation.

Jacksonville police on Monday went to the home of Cpl. Cody Daniel Richardson, at 1000 Talon Drive, Apt. 3, where they found him outside the apartment and his wife, Jessy B. Richardson, 21, dead inside.

Police Chief Michael Yaniero said Richardson confessed to a 911 operator that he strangled his wife, but investigators are awaiting autopsy results to determine an exact cause of death.

Yaniero said it appeared that Jessy Richardson had been dead for at least 24 hours when police arrived at the scene.

Police arrested Richardson, 22, of Carroll, N.H., at his apartment and took him to the Onslow County Jail, where he was being held without bond Tuesday morning.

Camp Lejeune officials said Richardson is an anti-tank missile man assigned to the 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune. He entered the Marine Corps in August 2006 and was promoted to corporal on May 1, 2008.

He deployed to Iraq in November 2007 and returned in May 2008. He has been honored for his service with awards that include the Iraqi Campaign Medal, National Defense Service and Global War on Terrorism Service medals.

Richardson is the latest Camp Lejeune Marine charged in a domestic violence case.

Cesar Laurean, a former Marines corporal, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, whose charred remains were found in his back yard in January 2008.

Marines Cpl. John Wimunc, 23, is also charged with first-degree murder, as well as other charges in the July 2008 death of his wife, Army 2nd Lt. Holley Wimunc, a nurse at Fort Bragg.

Several other women were also killed the same year. The suspects in those cases are also members of the military.

Fort Bragg Army Spc. Megan Touma was found dead in a Fayetteville motel last summer. The suspect in her death, Sgt. Edgar Patino was the father of her unborn child, Fayetteville police have said.

Someone also fatally stabbed Sgt. Christina Smith, also a Fort Bragg soldier, last September while she was walking near her Fayetteville home with her husband, Sgt. Richard Smith. Police believe he plotted her death. He and another soldier have been charged in the case.

Military officials have said there is no evidence that domestic abuse is any worse in the military than in civilian life.