SKYGUSTY, W.V. — A woman who helped kill her boyfriend last year in West Virginia and married her own father, a registered sex offender, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for murder.
Amanda Michelle Naylor McClure, 32, pleaded guilty in July to second-degree murder in the Valentine’s Day 2019 death of John Thomas McGuire, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported.
McGuire, 38, of Owatonna, Minnesota, was found Sept. 24 buried in a shallow grave at a home in Skygusty, West Virginia, where McClure’s biological father, Larry Paul McClure Sr., lived before moving to Kentucky.
Larry McClure, 56, was sentenced in August to life in prison without mercy, the newspaper reported.
Amanda McClure’s sister, Anna Marie Choudhary, 33, of Boone, North Carolina, still faces charges of murder and conspiracy in McGuire’s death.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Amanda McClure, who was sentenced Thursday via a Skype conference call, apologized to McGuire’s mother, Karen Smith, who joined the call from her home in Opelika, Alabama.
“I have to look at myself every day,” McClure said. “My family didn’t raise me to be this way. I’ve not only hurt John’s family, I’ve hurt my own family.”
McClure’s adoptive parents, Allen and Gwen Holm, also apologized to Smith.
“I want to apologize on our behalf,” Allen Holm said during the hearing. “I can’t imagine what she (Smith) is going through.”
The couple pleaded for mercy for their daughter, who they said was under Larry McClure’s spell when she committed the crime.
“The influence Larry had on her was a huge impact,” Allen Holm told the judge, according to the newspaper.
Judge Ed Kornish, who was not swayed, sentenced Amanda McClure to the maximum penalty for her crime.
The grisly details of McGuire’s slaying, as well as the nature of Larry and Amanda McClure’s incestuous relationship, came out last fall 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.
Additional details came out during Larry McClure’s sentencing hearing this summer.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Larry McClure had been estranged from his daughters prior to the crime. Choudhary lived in North Carolina at the time and Amanda McClure was staying in Indiana with McGuire.
Days before the murder, Larry McClure and Choudhary drove to Indiana to pick up Amanda McClure and McGuire, who Kornish said were “dope sick.” They all went to Larry McClure’s rural home in Skygusty.
The visit to West Virginia went smoothly for about a week before the father and daughters began plotting to kill McGuire, Larry McClure testified at his sentencing hearing.
On Valentine’s Day, the trio tied McGuire up, gaining his trust by telling him they were playing a “trust game,” Kornish said, according to the newspaper.
McGuire was struck in the head with a bottle of wine he’d bought to celebrate the holiday. He was then injected with methamphetamine.
The trio apparently tortured McGuire for two days before killing him and burying him in the backyard. Larry McClure described it in court as “two to three days of hell,” the Daily Telegraph reported.
“A black garbage bag was wrapped around his head by Amanda,” Larry McClure said. “Anna strangled him. I held him.”
They later decided to move McGuire’s body.
“How much time before you dug him up?” Kornish asked Larry McClure.
“About six days,” Larry McClure responded.
McGuire’s body was moved to a side yard, where he was found after Larry McClure, who had been 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,” West Virginia state Trooper K.M. Saddler testified at Choudhary’s Nov. 5 preliminary hearing.
Larry McClure told state police investigators where to find McGuire, who last had contact with his family in February.
According to the Owatonna People’s Press, the father of five was reported missing in June 2019 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, 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 last fall 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.
No motive for the crime was established in court.
McGuire’s mother addressed the motive during Amanda McClure’s sentencing hearing, saying she wanted “to know why (McClure) thought she could be God and take (her) kid.” She said McClure stole her son’s checks after his death but questioned whether that was the true motive.
Amanda McClure then spoke.
“Mrs. Smith, the only answer I can give you as to why things happened is John was with me,” she said, according to the newspaper. "My dad didn’t want anyone else near me. John told Larry that he loved me and we were going to get married.
“I wish I could bring John back. He was a good man.”
Smith said her son’s death shattered her family.
“She broke my heart and my grandkids' heart,” Smith said. “They cry every night for their daddy.”
The children are scared Amanda McClure could get out of prison someday and hurt them, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“I can’t forgive her right now,” Smith said. “Maybe later, but I can’t forgive her right now.”
The gruesome details of McGuire’s killing were not the details of the case that garnered national attention. The more shocking of the revelations came 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 killed McGuire.
The father and daughter traveled across the state line into Tazewell County, Virginia, a few weeks later and, on March 11, 2019, were married by a Methodist minister, the Daily Telegraph reported. The marriage license indicated that Amanda McClure gave someone else’s name as her biological father, the newspaper said.
Larry McClure spent most of his daughters' childhood in prison.
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 not made public. 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 said 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.
Larry 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,” 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.”