A 26-year-old New Jersey man was found guilty of third-degree murder on Wednesday and was subsequently sentenced to eight to 20 years behind bars.
A Berks County jury handed down their decision to convict Michael Morrone in the death of his girlfriend Christine McGhee. Back in 2008, Morrone was fighting with McGhee in his pickup truck, and when the fight escalated, he pushed her out of the vehicle while accelerating before speeding away. The incident left McGhee in a vegetative state for more than three years before she eventually died in 2012.
At the time of the incident, McGhee was a sophomore at Kutztown University, and tragically, her short life was ended after living in the vegetative state for years. Morrone was found guilty of assault and sentenced to five to 20 years in jail back in 2010, but now, prosecutors were able to convict him of third-degree murder.
Morrone’s defense team argued that the prosecution didn’t have enough of a case to prove that the 26-year-old committed murder and said that the day after the incident, he called her out of concern for her safety. Still, the prosecution was able to convince the jury otherwise, saying that when Morrone put his foot down on the gas pedal, it wasn’t to go back to his home, but simply to “get rid of” McGhee.
"Over the past four years, I've had a lot of time to think,” said Morrone during his sentencing. “Not a day goes by I don't think about it. I really wish I would have handled things differently that night. I do want to apologize to Christine's family. I really am sorry. You guys don't deserve that and neither does my family."
Morrone’s murder trial only lasted three days, and in the end, it took the jury only two hours to deliberate.