By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 18, 2009
A Fairfax County woman who fatally shot her husband after spray-painting an angry diatribe about him on their driveway was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison for voluntary manslaughter.
The sentence was first reached in January by a jury that rejected prosecutors' attempt to convict Marysusan Giguere, 53, of first-degree murder in the March 3, 2008, slaying of Ronald K. Giguere, 60. The couple had been married for 25 years and lived with their two sons in a home on Crowell Road near Reston.
The sons, now ages 15 and 13, were just steps away from the shooting scene and are now in the custody of Marysusan Giguere's sister. They did not attend the January trial of their mother, and "quite frankly they do not want any contact with their mother," Fairfax Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Robert McClain said.
Peter D. Greenspun, Giguere's lawyer, said Giguere was mentally ill, beset with cancer and suffering a nervous breakdown when she went to the driveway of their home and neatly spray-painted a message that accused her husband of using pornography and not supporting her. Police found no evidence of pornography in the house.
When Ronald Giguere returned home later that night, a struggle apparently erupted in his wife's separate bedroom, where drops of Ronald Giguere's blood were found from cuts on his mouth and arm. The couple eventually went upstairs, and Ronald Giguere was shot once in the forehead in a bathroom.
Marysusan Giguere called 911 to report the shooting, waited outside for officers to arrive and then described to police how the gun went off accidentally during a struggle. She did not take the witness stand during her 10-day trial.
She spoke publicly about the episode for the first time yesterday, crying throughout her statement, which she read to Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Jane Marum Roush while standing in a green jail jumpsuit. She did not specifically admit killing her husband, which is common for defendants who plan to appeal.
"I am so sorry my husband Ron Giguere is gone," she said. "Thoughts and memories of him are always on my mind. . . . Ron was, is and always will be the love of my life. I am so very sorry for everything my beloved sons Daniel and Jonathan have been through.
"Words cannot express how deeply sorry I am," Giguere said. "I ask you for mercy and compassion today."
McClain said that "with eight years, Ms. Giguere still gets off lightly. It's only eight years for taking the life of Ron Giguere," who worked as a manager for the Federal Highway Administration.
Roush had the option only to impose or reduce the jury's sentence, not increase it, and she imposed the eight years.