BOSTON — The highest court in Massachusetts on Tuesday upheld the conviction of a man who killed his wife after learning she was dating rock musicians and had tried to become a contestant on the reality TV show "Rock of Love."
Jeffrey McGee was convicted of first-degree murder after he choked and stabbed 31-year-old Christine McGee in front of the couple's 3-year-old son in 2007.
McGee didn't dispute killing his wife, but argued at trial he had committed the crime in the heat of passion and had not premeditated the act.
In his appeal, McGee said prosecutors shouldn't have been allowed to bring a couch into the courtroom so his son could demonstrate how his mother was lying as McGee choked her. He asked for a new trial or that his conviction be reduced to second-degree murder or manslaughter, which would eventually make him eligible for parole. McGee is now serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
In its ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Judicial Court refused to reduce his conviction or grant a new trial. The court found that the judge was within her discretion to allow the demonstration by the couple's son to put his oral testimony in context.
The court ruling described a turbulent relationship and said Christine began dating local rock musicians after separating from her husband in October 2007. Later that month, she went to California for several days in an attempt to appear on "Rock of Love," a show featuring women competing to be the girlfriend of Bret Michaels, the lead singer of the band Poison.
Jeffrey McGee was upset that Christine was seeing other men and "embarrassed" that she wanted to be on the show. He told a co-worker he planned to contact the show's producers to tell the producers that Christine was married, the court ruling said. She did not appear on the show.
Christine McGee was killed the next month after Jeffrey McGee learned she was contacting men she had dated.