Republican activist shot and killed by wife on Christmas Day, police say

David and Marylue Wigglesworth lived close to Atlantic City (Marylue Wigglesworth/Facebook)
David and Marylue Wigglesworth lived close to Atlantic City (Marylue Wigglesworth/Facebook)

A New Jersey woman has been charged with murder after allegedly shooting dead her husband on Christmas Day.

David Wigglesworth, a 57-year-old community organiser with the Republican Party, was found grievously wounded at his home in Mays Landing, 20 miles from Atlantic City, on the evening of 25 December, according to local reports.

Police had been called to the property sometime after 10pm by Marylue Wigglesworth, who told an emergency dispatcher she had been involved in a fight.

When police reached the home, they found him gravely injured, and a handgun nearby.

He was subsequently declared dead at the scene. A later autopsy ruled his death was a homicide.

“The investigation resulted in the arrest of Marylue Wigglesworth for murder,” said a statement from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office

“Mrs Wigglesworth was taken into custody and lodged in the Atlantic County Justice Facility.”

Reports said Wigglesworth, who had a son, was active in the local community and ran as a Republican for the Township Committee in 2019 but lost. Local media said he also served on the Planning Board and volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.

A report in The Press of Atlantic City newspaper claimed the couple had been fighting at the time of the incident.

It is not known whether Ms Wigglesworth has had a chance to enter a plea or has been provided with a lawyer. The prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to inquiries from The Independent.

On social media, the town’s Republican Party paid tribute to the dead man, whose nickname was “Wiggy”.

“Our hearts are heavy with the loss of David Wigglesworth. He was a dedicated member of the party and worked tirelessly to support many Republican campaigns over the years, including his own,” it said on Facebook.

“We send our prayers to his son and his extended family.”