Kevin McGuigan pleads guilty to killing his mother outside Church of the Potomac

A Rockville man who Montgomery County Police said killed his mother three years ago in front of a church pleaded guilty in circuit court Tuesday, the state attorney’s office said.

Kevin McGuigan, 24, pleaded guilty to killing his mother, Jaclyn McGuigan, 49, outside St. Raphael Catholic Church at 1513 Dunster Road in Potomac. He had been found fit to stand trial prior to plea. Police said an “unknown sharp weapon” appears to have been used in the murder.

McGuigan will be sentenced on January 3 and could face a life sentence.

According to prosecution documents, police were called to church at around 6 p.m. on December 28, 2018 and found Jaclyn McGuigan’s body with blood nearby. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two witnesses told detectives that they heard someone screaming outside the church that night and then saw Kevin McGuigan stand over his mother’s body. One of the witnesses told police they pursued McGuigan, and the suspect then fled in a Honda.

According to the documents, police found the Honda in a nearby park and determined that it was registered in Jaclyn McGuigan’s name. They then determined that she was the victim found at church by matching her face to her photo on file with the state Motor Vehicle Administration. Police said they also found Kevin McGuigan’s phone inside the vehicle and had blood on it.

McGuigan was charged with first degree murder but was declared unfit to stand trial in 2019 and was incarcerated earlier this year at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup, a state maximum security psychiatric hospital. . Perkins employees said McGuigan was unwittingly receiving medication to manage symptoms of schizophrenia.

Following a subsequent finding of jurisdiction, McGuigan was ordered to be transferred to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

In July, McGuigan was again found incompetent and ordered to attend the same state mental hospital. However, the state attorney’s office said in a statement Tuesday that it was subsequently found competent in the fall.

David Martella, McGuigan’s attorney, said Tuesday in a statement to Bethesda Beat when asked to comment on the plea that “on this occasion we will have to let the case speak for itself.” He did not comment further.

Dan Schere can be contacted at [email protected]

Jerry B. Hatch