Moral Low Ground


New Mexico Police: Ashlee Gurule and Jennifer McKee Seduced Maurice Gonzalez, Killed Him for His Car

Ashlee Gurule (L) and Jennifer McKee

Ashlee Gurule (L) and Jennifer McKee

Two young homeless women are behind bars in New Mexico, accused of luring a man with the promise of a threesome before murdering him so they could steal his car.

KRQE reports that Jennifer McKee, 18, and Ashlee Gurule, 20, were apprehended on Friday evening after a high-speed car chase which ended with police discovering the body of 51-year-old Maurice Gonzalez in the vehicle’s trunk.

New Mexico State Police said they believe that Gonzalez’s murder was premeditated and that he may have been involved in a cash-for-sex relationship with at least one of the suspects. According to a criminal complaint, the young women were “tired of being homeless and decided they needed a car.”

NMSP told reporters that McKee, Gurule and a third female, 16-year-old Julia Martinez, were driving southbound on Interstate 25 near Los Lunas searching for a place to dump Gonzalez’s body when an officer attempted to pull their car over for blocking traffic. The suspects then fled, leading police on a high-speed pursuit during which speeds reached 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). The chase ended with a minor crash about 10 miles away in downtown Belen, about 35 miles (56 km) south of Albuquerque.

When they opened the trunk of the silver Dodge Stratus driven by the suspects, officers found Gonzalez’s body.

Detectives believe Gonzalez was killed in Albuquerque on Friday. The Albuquerque Journal reports that he was stabbed to death at around 10 a.m. in his Northeast Heights home. According to a confession given to police, after smoking the synthetic herbal drug spice, Gurule signalled McKee to begin stabbing Gonzalez “by taking her ring off her left hand and putting it on her right hand.” The two women allegedly confessed to stabbing Gonzalez to death with two knives, including one decorated in a pink leopard print, Eyewitness News 4 reports.

According to the confession, “Gonzalez began begging for his life and asking the girls not to kill him… offering anything in his house, including his car” but they “continued to stab him.” McKee alleges that Gurule grabbed a pillow to suffocate their victim “because he wasn’t dying.” Both women allegedly held the pillow over Gonzalez’s face while continuing to stab him to death. They then allegedly stuffed his body in the trunk of his car and picked up Martinez to help them dispose of it.

McKee and Gurule will be charged in Bernalillo County for the murder and Valencia County for the high-speed pursuit. Martinez will be charged with conspiracy. The Journal reports that McKee had previously been charged with marijuana possession, concealing her identity, shoplifting and criminal damage to property. All charges against her were dropped. Gurule has been charged with abandonment or abuse of a child, for which she was sentenced to six months’ probation. She was also charged twice with shoplifting, but both cases were dismissed.

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