Pearl River man gets life for murders

Published 4:36 am Wednesday, April 10, 2019

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that Jason Matthew Magee, 39, of Pearl River, was sentenced Monday to spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting his estranged wife and her boyfriend to death in 2017. District Judge August Hand sentenced Magee to two consecutive life sentences.

A St. Tammany Parish jury unanimously found Magee guilty of two counts of first-degree murder after a weeklong trial before Hand in February.

Magee and his former wife, Jennifer Wallace Magee, a 32-year-old nurse, had been separated for more than a year and were going through a divorce when the crime occurred on June 19, 2017. Jason Magee had spent that afternoon out with their two children, ages 6 and 8, and they were saying goodnight to their mother over the telephone in Magee’s truck when one of them asked to speak to her boyfriend. Magee grew enraged, drove the children to his parents’ home in Pearl River, and then drove a short distance away to Jennifer’s home. Magee kicked his way into the home and, as prosecutors described, executed both victims with “military precision” in one minute and 34 seconds.

The shootings left Jennifer Magee and Donald R. Gros, then a 34-year-old EKG technician, dead of multiple gunshot wounds. Magee confessed over the phone to his stepfather that he had shot his ex-wife, but he fled. With assistance from the U.S. Marshals Task Force and the Pearl River Police Department, he was later arrested after emerging from the woods.

The jury rejected claims by Magee’s lawyers that he was acting in self defense after Gros pointed a gun at him and a scuffle broke out. Assistant District Attorneys Blair Alford and Collin Sims, Chief of the Criminal Division, prosecuted the case.

Jason Magee’s brother, James C. Magee, is currently on death row for killing his estranged wife and young son back in 2007.