fb-pixel

Cellphone evidence shows a Revere man who in September 2017 allegedly killed his young wife, a beloved elementary school teacher, had also contacted an online escort service, according to a legal filing.

The document was filed earlier this month in the case against Andrew MacCormack, 31, who’s charged in Suffolk Superior Court with first-degree murder in the death of his wife, 30-year-old Vanessa MacCormack, on Sept. 23, 2017, in the couple’s home.

Andrew MacCormack, who’s been held without bail since his arrest days after the slaying, has pleaded not guilty. His trial is slated for Oct. 9, records show.

According to the prosecutors’ filing, Revere police Detective Jon-Ricard Gibson uncovered the escort service evidence when he analyzed Andrew MacCormack’s phone.

Advertisement



“[Detective] Gibson recognizes the web search entries in Andrew MacCormack’s phone as views of various escort ads on Backpage.com,” Assistant Suffolk District Attorney Ian Polumbaum, chief of his office’s Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, wrote in the filing.

Polumbaum didn’t specify the dates that the ads were viewed.

“[Detective] Gibson further recognizes the messages starting at 12:37 a.m. Eastern time as consistent with negotiating sex for money on Backpage. When the phone user asks ‘Perfect 30 mins? And location,’ the unidentified escort responds simply ‘Peabody Rt. 1,’ ” Polumbaum wrote. “The next response to [MacCormack] of ‘hh 100 baby’ means half an hour for $100.”

MacCormack’s lawyer said he planned to issue a response later Thursday.

The filing didn’t specify how, or whether, prosecutors intend to use the evidence regarding escort ads at trial.

Vanessa MacCormack.
Vanessa MacCormack.Facebook

Polumbaum said during Andrew MacCormack’s November 2017 arraignment in Superior Court that Vanessa MacCormack suffered several stab and slash wounds to her face and neck.

One of those stab wounds might have been delivered after she died, Polumbaum said, and there was additional evidence that the killer used “pretty extreme force” in strangling her.

Advertisement



He said the medical examiner ruled that “a combination of all these different types of violence killed Vanessa.”

John Hayes, Andrew MacCormack’s lawyer, said during the arraignment that his client “adamantly” denies killing his wife and hopes to reestablish a relationship with the couple’s toddler daughter when the case is resolved.

A police affidavit said that before Vanessa MacCormack was killed, there were red flags in the marriage, including her $13,000 engagement ring going missing; a replacement ring also disappearing; Andrew MacCormack’s pawning of different items of jewelry; and his claiming that his bank account was recently hacked by someone in Thailand who stole thousands of dollars.

His wife had grown suspicious and increasingly angry, according to the affidavit.

“Don’t you dare get frustrated with me you deserve to be questioned,” she texted him on Sept. 15, two weeks after a prior text that read, “I hate you so much you’ve ruined [our daughter’s] life because she won’t have her parents together. . . . I’ll look into divorce lawyers.”

Andrew responded, “Ur crazy I’m not signing anything to sell the house or get divorced.”

Prosecutors have also alleged that Andrew MacCormack had a $500-a-week drug habit.

Court records indicate Boston police arrested him in 2011 after being accused of dragging a previous girlfriend down two flights of stairs by her hair. That case was dismissed.

Following a September 2017 court hearing, Hayes downplayed his client’s marital strife, insisting the MacCormacks had been looking forward to “a life together” despite their problems.

Advertisement




Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.