Image: SCOTT SARAJEVICH/ABC-TV
Widow enters plea for manslaughter
A man accused of killing a television writer’s wife over a gambling debt has pleaded not guilty to first-degree manslaughter, the Associated Press reports.
Authorities said James “Jim” McNally shot Craig Baldwin “at least eight times” inside a Baldwin’s home in suburban Chicago last November.
In an affidavit, an investigator with the DuPage County prosecutor’s office told a judge that both McNally and Baldwin had been gambling at the Jens’ restaurant in Wheaton, Illinois, prior to the shooting.
Baldwin’s brother told the AP in December that he also saw Jim McNally gambling at the spot where Baldwin had been killed.
“My brother met Jim McNally and I saw him there with another man,” Walter Baldwin said. “My brother was there for a few hours, and he left shortly after midnight.”
A Facebook post purportedly from McNally speaks of the court filing. He said, “Apparently, former friends need to know that this incident never happened. It’s all part of their efforts to try and get money for the mistakes they made in life.”
Baldwin’s brother told the AP that he was baffled that someone would shoot someone over a debt.
“All this bickering is apparently a ploy for creditors to get some money,” Walter Baldwin said. “Jim is really a great guy. He loved his wife and children, and he would not have done anything like this. Our family is devastated by this tragic murder. My brother was such a kind, intelligent, gentle, loving, creative man with a great sense of humor, who never bothered anyone. Jim McNally is an evil man who is out to do absolutely anything he can to avoid responsibility for this murder.”
Both Baldwin and McNally are charged with first-degree murder. A trial is set for April.