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Third suspect pleads guilty in murder for hire of James City County woman

Posted at 8:18 PM, Feb 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-25 20:18:31-05

James City County, Va. - A web of love, lies and murder--investigators continue to unravel a murder for hire case in James City County.

Three of four suspects now admit to killing Dana Mackay inside her Teal Way home.

Dana's husband and former Ft. Eustis Army Staff Sergeant, John Mackay, his mistress Nicole Houchin, and now Nicole’s husband, Nace Houchin, have all pleaded guilty to first degree murder.

On July 27th, 2013, a neighbor found Dana’s bloody body in her bedroom. Investigators say she was beat to death with a torque wrench.

Before anyone was ever charged in her death, police say it was Nicole and John's Gmail accounts that exposed their plan.

Investigators say a few months before his wife's murder, John gave an old cell phone to another soldier at Ft. Eustis. That soldier turned the phone in to police after he discovered suspicious emails on the phone between John and Nicole. Apparently, John never disconnected his email account.

In one email, John asked Nicole if his wife would be gone when he got back. Court documents reveal Nicole responded "trying to make it happen ASAP."

Records show Nace and a fourth suspect, 25-year-old Gregory Crawford, who was just arrested last week, were offered $20,000 to help in the murder plot.

Crawford is scheduled to be in court next week. John, Nicole and Nace will be sentenced in May.

Related:

Court documents reveal more on 4th person arrested for 2013 murder of Fort Eustis soldier’s wife

Fort Eustis soldier, mistress plead guilty to wife’s 2013 murder

New details released in deadly love triangle case

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Court Documents: Man accused of murder had handwritten confession note in his wallet

Man accused in murder of Ft. Eustis Soldier’s wife claims innocence