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‘Don’t look at us,’ relative shouts at husband charged with killing Mass. teacher

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 11/14/2017 By Travis Andersen

Family members watched as Andrew MacCormack was arraigned for the murder of his wife, Vanessa MacCormack in September. © Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Family members watched as Andrew MacCormack was arraigned for the murder of his wife, Vanessa MacCormack in September. A relative of Vanessa MacCormack, the beloved teacher who was brutally murdered in her Revere, Mass. home in September, had sharp words for her husband Tuesday after the spouse pleaded not guilty to killing her.

“Don’t even look at us,” the male relative shouted at Andrew MacCormack, 29, at the conclusion of the hearing in Suffolk Superior Court.

Andrew MacCormack was ordered held without bail on a first-degree murder charge. He’s been held since his arrest days after the Sept. 23 slaying. A grand jury indicted him Oct. 31.

After Clerk Magistrate Lisa Medeiros on Tuesday denied a defense request for $50,000 bail, a female relative of Vanessa pumped her fist and said “yes!”

Also during the hearing, Assistant District Attorney Ian Polumbaum said Vanessa, 30, suffered several stab and slash wounds to her face and neck.

One of those stab wounds may have been delivered after she died, Polumbaum said, and there was additional evidence that the killer used “pretty extreme force” in strangling her.

He said the medical examiner ruled that “a combination of all these different types of violence killed Vanessa.”

Her family members cried as Polumbaum described her injuries.

Andrew MacCormack wore a suit and showed no obvious signs of emotion, a marked contrast from his earlier arraignment in Chelsea District Court, when he wept in the prisoner’s dock.

His lawyer, John Hayes, reiterated during Tuesday’s hearing that his client “adamantly” denies the charges and hopes to re-establish a relationship with the couple’s infant daughter when the case is resolved.

At the mention of the girl, several of Vanessa’s relatives, who currently have custody of the infant, shook their heads.

Also Tuesday, Polumbaum reiterated the government’s theory of the wrenching case, telling Medeiros that Andrew MacCormack had a cocaine habit and had infuriated his wife for placing their finances in jeopardy.

Vanessa had threatened to seek a divorce in August, Polumbaum said, and Andrew responded via text, “You’re crazy. I’m not signing anything.”

Areas in the couple’s home were scrubbed clean with bleach after the killing, Polumbaum said, and bleach had also been poured on Vanessa’s back.

Polumbaum said police noted during an interview that Andrew had a rash, which he blamed on a new laundry detergent.

Police who searched the house found no sign of any bleach containers, and a kitchen knife was missing, Polumbaum said.

In addition, he said, blood traces were found in Andrew’s SUV, and there was no sign of forced entry in the couple’s home, nor was there evidence that Vanessa had disputes with anyone else.

She had, however, accused Andrew of “ruining their lives” before she was killed, Polumbaum said.

He added that Andrew’s mother lived in the couple’s basement and told investigators she left the house to do errands before the murder and couldn’t recall seeing her son at all that day.

Hayes told Medeiros that Andrew gave multiple voluntary interviews to police after the murder and also led them on a videotaped walk-through of the crime scene.

“That’s not generally the behavior of a guilty person,” Hayes said.

As for their financial troubles, Hayes said that “many couples go through problems” but “that doesn’t by itself prove that [MacCormack] killed his wife.”

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Relatives of Andrew and Vanessa did not speak to reporters as they left court.

RELATED VIDEO: Vigil honors domestic violence victims (Provided by WCVB Boston)

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