SKYGUSTY, W.V — A registered sex offender who served more than 17 years in prison for sexually abusing a young relative is now charged with murdering his daughter’s boyfriend -- and then marrying her.
Larry Paul McClure Sr., 55, of Pendleton, Kentucky, is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy in the Valentine’s Day killing of John Thomas McGuire, 38, of Owatonna, Minnesota, according to authorities. McGuire’s remains were found Sept. 24 in a shallow grave at a home in Skygusty, West Virginia, where McClure lived prior to moving to Kentucky.
McClure's two daughters, Amanda Michelle Naylor McClure, 31, of Chisago City, Minnesota, and Anna Marie Choudhary, 32, of Boone, North Carolina, are also charged with murder and conspiracy in McGuire's death, according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph.
Amanda McClure was McGuire's girlfriend at the time of his death, according to authorities. She, her sister and their father are all being held at separate jails, according to the West Virginia Regional Jail Authority's website.
A gruesome death detailed
The grisly details of McGuire’s slaying, as well as the nature of Larry and Amanda McClure’s incestuous relationship, came out earlier this month during a preliminary hearing in Choudhary’s case, in court documents and a handwritten confession Larry McClure sent to authorities the day before the hearing.
According to the Daily Telegraph, West Virginia state Trooper K.M. Saddler testified at Choudhary's Nov. 5 hearing that Larry McClure and both of his daughters were involved in the killing.
"On or about February 14, Mr. John McGuire was struck in the head with a bottle of wine, then tied up, and then injected with two vials of methamphetamine," Saddler testified, according to the newspaper. "After the injection, he was strangled."
McGuire's body was buried in the backyard of Larry McClure's home at 11715 Skygusty Highway, but was later moved to a side yard, Saddler said. That is where it was found when McClure, who was jailed for failing to tell West Virginia authorities about his move to Kentucky, told investigators about the killing in September, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“He told officers at the McDowell County holding facility he wanted to speak with an officer regarding a murder,” Saddler testified.
Larry McClure told state police investigators where to find the body. An autopsy confirmed the remains were those of McGuire, who had last had contact with his family in February.
According to the Owatonna People's Press, the father of five was reported missing in June by Angela Erickson, the mother of his three oldest children. He left Owatonna for a road trip with Amanda McClure shortly before his death, Erickson told the newspaper.
McGuire, an Alabama native known by family and friends as “Bama,” planned to head south at some point to visit his mother in Opelika, Alabama, the People’s Press reported. He never made it.
A handful of posts were posted on McGuire's Facebook page Feb. 15, the day after authorities believe he died, but the writings were ominous. "Job completed, the Firefox is dead," the first one read. "Hahaha! The Maddhatter (sic)." A second post indicated laughter and a third stated, "You all are (expletive) just like Firefox, and you will all end up the same way. Hahaha."
Amanda McClure and Choudhary were initially charged with concealment of a human body after McGuire's remains were recovered. All three suspects were charged with murder in October, according to The Associated Press.
Saddler said in court that Larry McClure was "more of an orchestrator" of the crime, the Daily Telegraph reported. The trooper said Choudhary admitted she injected McGuire with the drugs and hit him with the wine bottle.
The trooper testified that all three suspects participated in burying the victim. It was not immediately clear what, if any, additional participation Amanda McClure is accused of.
No motive for the crime was established in court.
The judge ruled that enough evidence exists against Choudhary to put the case before a grand jury.
A separate hearing for Amanda McClure held Oct. 22 resulted in the same outcome. Larry McClure waived his preliminary hearing that same day.
"We have had three preliminary hearings for each of the three co-defendants and after those hearings, now we're waiting for it to be bound over to the grand jury presentment, which will be either February or June of 2020," McDowell County Prosecuting Attorney Emily Miller told WVNS in Ghent.
The case remains under investigation and additional charges are possible, the news station reported.
‘All I can do is hope for mercy’
The more shocking of the revelations in the case have come in the form of court records, which includes the criminal complaint against the trio. In the last paragraph of the complaint, Saddler wrote that Larry McClure and Amanda McClure had sex at the home where they are accused of killing McGuire.
The father and daughter traveled across the state line into Tazewell County, Virginia, several weeks later and, on March 11, were married by a Methodist minister, the Daily Telegraph reported. The marriage license indicates that Amanda McClure gave someone else's name as her biological father, the newspaper said.
Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hieatt told the paper the alleged marriage is a misdemeanor in Virginia. The pair could face charges there.
Larry McClure was convicted July 22, 1998, of first-degree sexual assault for abusing a family member between the ages of 6 and 12, according to West Virginia's sex offender registry. He served about 17 1/2 years in prison.
The identity of McClure’s victim in the 1998 case was unknown Tuesday. Amanda McClure was 9 years old when her father was convicted and her sister was 10.
The court records obtained by the Daily Telegraph also include the confession Larry McClure sent to the court outlining the roles he claims he and his daughters each took in McGuire's death.
He painted Amanda McClure as the ringleader of the plot but said he did not know her motive, the newspaper said.
"I cannot tell you why Amanda wanted John McGuire dead," Larry McClure wrote in the letter dated Nov. 4.
He alleged, however, that his daughter was spending McGuire’s monthly Social Security benefits after the man’s death, the newspaper reported.
McClure wrote that he didn’t want to waste taxpayers’ money on a trial or hurt either his or McGuire’s families more than they had already been hurt.
"All I can do is hope for mercy on this, but my sentence on this really does not matter because I am old and in bad health," Larry McClure wrote, according to the Daily Telegraph. "I will never live to see the parole board in 15 years anyway and that is OK.
“I will say I am sorry for my part in this crime, to both my family and John McGuire’s family.”
He ended the letter by saying he just wants the ordeal to be over.
“NO TRIAL. NO TAXPAYERS MONEY SPENT FOR A TRIAL,” he wrote in all capital letters. “It is hard for the state of West Virginia to fight against itself because I plead GUILTY/NO CONTEST.”
He thanked court officials for their time before signing his name to the document.
‘He was my dad’
McGuire's two oldest children, Justice and Jacob McGuire, spoke with the People's Press earlier this month about losing their father. Justice, 18, told the newspaper she and her father didn't always get along, but they didn't let their disagreements come between them.
"He was my dad. I loved him," Justice said.
The children and their mother, Erickson, said it became apparent early on that something was terribly wrong when they had not heard from McGuire in several weeks.
"It was clear after Mother's Day went by and he didn't call that something was wrong," Erickson told the newspaper. "He always called me and his own mom to tell us what good mothers we were."
When Jacob turned 16 over the summer and didn’t hear from his father, their fears deepened. The teen said it was then that he “started to prepare (himself) for the worst.”
Erickson got word Sept. 29, five days after Larry McClure led authorities to McGuire’s remains, that the father of her children was dead. His remains were cremated and sent back to her in Minnesota.
She and the teens described McGuire as a man who loved everyone. Erickson said his love extended to her youngest child, his own children’s half-sister, even though it had been years since he and Erickson were a couple.
She said her ex had gone through bad choices and bad times, including struggling with substance abuse, but that he was ultimately a good person.
"He had a heart of gold, the gift of gab, and he was friends with everyone," Erickson told the People's Press. "I'm going to miss everything about him."
A tearful Erickson said McGuire almost seemed to sense something bad coming the last time they spoke to one another.
"I was worried about the kids, and he just told me, 'Please don't worry, I'm always looking out for them even when I'm not there. Trust me,'" she told the newspaper.
Justice said her father took care of everyone he could.
“He would make sure you felt safe, and he would always give you whatever you need,” the teen said. “Even though he didn’t have a lot, he wanted to make sure that you did.
“He wasn’t always there for us, but he was. I think we still have him now, watching over us.”
Cox Media Group