LONDONDERRY –– The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to push New Hampshire court hearings further into 2021, including the trial of accused Londonderry murderer William Argie.
Argie, arrested last year after his wife was found strangled to death in their Londonderry home, was slated for trial in January 2021, but will instead face a jury sometime in June, a new court ruling explains.
He is charged with purposeful first-degree murder, an alternative count of reckless second-degree murder, and falsifying evidence.
At a recent hearing, the defense agreed to file a waiver of speedy trial.
“The defense shared they will not be prepared for trial in January 2021 as previously discussed,” records state.
Also, “The State shared that a January 2021 trial appears to be unattainable due to current COVID restrictions.”
The opposing attorneys have remained at odds about what evidence should be allowed at the eventual trial. Judge Marguerite Wageling had yet to issue a ruling as of press time for this article.
Prosecutors are building their case against the 48-year-old based on a broken marriage and a murder-for-hire attempt, among other substantial troubles, court records explain. The defense has largely objected.
Details of the case remained mostly hidden from public view in sealed court documents until the evidentiary requests were filed.
Not only was there talk of divorce, according to prosecutors, but Maureen consulted a divorce lawyer, made plans with friends and family members to sell the Londonderry home, and planned to live with the children apart from her husband.
Prosecutors argue that Maureen was afraid of her husband, who knew about the impending separation.
As proof, they want a judge to allow as evidence a five-minute recorded phone call between Maureen and a Londonderry police officer from March 30, 2019 — five days before she was killed.
During the call she expressed concerns about her husband, noting that the situation with him was “tense.”
She made the call “in order to ensure that the emergency line to police was operational ‘in case something happens,’ in order to ‘protect herself,’” according to prosecutors.
Two days later, April 1, 2019, she’s said to have expressed similar worry to her father — specifically that her husband was monitoring her cellphone.
Prosecutors go on in court documents to describe William Argie as a gambling addict whose family was unsuccessful in intervening a year before Maureen was killed.
Court paperwork says, “the day after his wife’s murder, Argie was tracked down to a casino in Connecticut, where he was found gambling” after a suicide attempt.
Prosecutors believe his deepening financial crisis leading up to the incidents in question are also relevant.
They say William Argie lost his longtime job as a physician’s assistant and was unable to find consistent employment to pay off mounting debts.
He was being chased by creditors, was on the verge of filing for personal bankruptcy, and continued to gamble, according to documents.
Prosecutors say William Argie was motivated to kill his wife for her $400,000 life insurance policy, of which he was the sole beneficiary.
A man he gambled with, James Timbas, is said to have confirmed the theory when he contacted police after hearing of Maureen’s death.
According to Timbas, William Argie would complain about his wife and their relationship when he gambled, as well as how he “hated her and wanted to get rid of her.”
He claims that several weeks before Maureen was found dead, William Argie offered him a share of his wife’s insurance policy if he helped kill her.
According to Timbas, William Argie said, “I’m done with her. I’m going to (expletive) kill her, and I’m going to collect the money.”
When Timbas said he wouldn’t help, he was offered a smaller amount of money to find a “hitman” to commit the murder, which Timbas said he also declined.