Ex−beau accused in Sunnyside crime lab tech slay

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The ex−boyfriend of a civilian crime lab technician accused of beating and stabbing her to death in her Sunnyside apartment last month is the son of an Irish revolutionary, published reports said.

Gary McGurk, 23, of Woodside, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of second−degree murder, tampering with evidence and weapon possession in the death of Michelle Lee, 24, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Friday, amid a report that the young man had tied her to the bed to confuse police after the murder.

McGurk, a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, was arraigned at Queens Criminal Court Friday afternoon, the DA said. He was ordered held without bail and his next court date was set for June 9, Brown said. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison, the DA said.

McGurk is also the son of Aiden McGurk, one of Northern Ireland’s two notorious “Sleeping Bombers” — Irish Republican Army operatives caught by police in 1981 after they fell asleep while waiting to detonate a bomb — according to the Belfast Telegraph newspaper. Gary McGurk moved to Woodside from Ireland at age 10, the Telegraph said.

McGurk allegedly told investigators that he could not have killed Lee because it would have embarrassed his family, the Telegraph reported.

McGurk also allegedly confessed to conning thousands of dollars out of Lee by claiming to be suffering from cancer, the New York Post reported.

“The young woman had a bright and promising future, which was abruptly cut short by her brutal and senseless murder,” Brown said in a statement. “This case will be vigorously prosecuted to ensure that justice is served on behalf of the victim and her family.”

According to court documents, on April 26, McGurk hit Lee in the head with an iron and stabbed her in the neck. Citing anonymous law enforcement sources, the New York Post reported McGurk burned her stomach with the iron and tied her to the bed in order to make the murder look like a torture or a sex crime.

The indictment accuses McGurk of “altering the condition and position” of Lee’s body and taking her BlackBerry cell phone.

Lee’s roommate, another crime lab technician, did not come home until Sunday following the murder, a police source said. She was not aware that Lee was dead until she went into Lee’s room the next morning to rouse her for work, the source said.

Lee and her roommate had only lived in the apartment since March, the police source said. She and the other technician met when they were hired by the lab in September, the source said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 6:35 pm, October 10, 2011
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