Twenty-three-year-old Marlene Magee did not receive a dozen red roses, chocolate hearts, or a romantic candlelight dinner with her lover on Valentine’s night. Instead she received a shotgun blast to her face which took her life and the life of her unborn baby, a tiny girl who would have been born two months later and was already named Natalie. Did her longtime boyfriend, twenty-six-year-old Andre Calac take her life and the life of his daughter in a fit of angry obsession or was this a tragic accident after a night of meth and alcohol use?
Marlene Magee and Andrea Calac had a long history together, first meeting as young children on the Rincon Indian Reservation, where they continued to live. By all accounts they had a tempestuous relationship. Others would say it was much worse, criminal in fact, that Magee was a victim of repeated domestic violence. What exactly happened on Valentine’s night of 2004 may never be known. What is known is one week before her death, Magee moved out of the couple’s trailer as “she was sick of it all and wanted to get her life in gear.” Late in the evening of Valentine’s day, Calac went to see Magee at her mother’s home. Magee was last seen alive at 2:30 a.m. lying on the couch in her pajamas. Sometime after 2:30 a.m. Magee went with Calac back to their former home. Whether she left by her own free will or was forced remains debatable, but by 2:45 a.m. she was dead.
What transpired in that short period of time was vigorously contested, but all sides agreed that Calac’s shotgun was fired once, taking off Calac’s thumb and part of the left side of Magee’s face. After the shooting, Calac put Magee in his car and drove to the Department of Forestry, where Magee bled to death on the ground.
At trial, the prosecution argued Calac was all about power and control, that he was losing Magee and killed her because “if he could not have her, no one could.” To highlight Calac’s violent nature, the prosecutor presented a sign Calac had written and prominently displayed in his home: “Do Not Enter. No Exceptions. Violators are subject to being shot, stabbed, choked, clubbed, or simply beat down!! And then violated!! Enter at your own dumbass risk.”
The defense argued that Magee and Calac were still in love and the shooting was a tragic accident which took place while both parties were under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol. Yes, Magee, seven months pregnant tested positive for meth and alcohol. It was a fact that could not be ignored.
After two days of deliberation, a jury found Calac guilty of second degree murder of Magee and of the baby, with the additional gun use allegations. Calac was sentenced to eighty years to life in prison, but died in prison on August 27, 2015. The manner of death was not released.
This was the real life case that was presented at the Citizens’ Academy on March 30, 2016. If you want to read more about the case, please view the case file: People v Andre Francis Calac, SCN 174180.