Man Accused Of Murdering Wife In Unclear Circumstances Stands Trial

| by Jordan Smith
Matthew and Nique LeiliMatthew and Nique Leili

A Georgia man is facing murder charges more than four years after his wife died in unexplained circumstances.

Matthew Leili is accused of killing his wife Nique Leili, who was 44 at the time, in July 2011.

The mother of two disappeared from her home July 8, 2011, and her husband reported her missing two days later, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Matthew filed for divorce shortly after, saying that his wife had deserted the family

Nique’s naked body was found July 16, 2011, and although Matthew was named as a suspect by police, they did not arrest him.

Almost four years later, on March 4, 2015, Gwinnett County police announced that an analysis of computers seized from the family home had produced sufficient evidence for a conviction.

“This was not the magic bullet,” a Gwinnett County police spokesman said at the time, according to the Journal Constitution. “This was enough to tip the scales.”

Police reportedly believe that Nique died by asphyxiation, according to WXIA.

The process of jury selection began Jan. 25. The pool of 36 present in the courtroom were reportedly asked to confirm whether they had ever been victims of domestic violence and whether they thought parents could manipulate the behavior of their children.

This was in reference to allegations by the prosecution that Matthew brainwashed his two teenage daughters regarding his relationship with Nique. The daughters told a previous hearing that the couple had a loving relationship, but police were notified of one incident of alleged domestic violence shortly prior to Nique’s disappearance.

The grand jury decision issued last May against Matthew also indicted him on counts of aggravated assault. It stated that he “[made] an assault on the person of Dominique Leili with intent to rape,” the Journal Constitution reported.

The teenage daughters posted a video on YouTube last year defending their father.

“Because of the lies and hate the family has for my father,” the video’s caption read, “they have managed to get him arrested for a murder he did not commit.”

Jury selection is to continue Jan. 26, and the trial is anticipated to last around two weeks.

Sources: Atlanta Journal Constitution, WXIA / Photo credit: Gwinnett County Jail via WXIA, Family photo via Atlanta Journal Constitution