Boyfriend murdered teenager who dumped him after texting his mother about illness

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Although she is known to always have a smile on her face, Morgan McCaffery was privately dealing with a teenage relationship that had some very disturbing complications.

It was June 2020 and Morgan, 18, had been dating her boyfriend Gilbert Newton III for a year.

Although they broke up a few times, many of Morgan’s friends and family were unaware that this was an eventful union. Newton, 19, could be aggressive when he didn’t get what he wanted.

Popular Morgan had just graduated from Nazareth Academy High School, a private Catholic school in Philadelphia.

After the summer, she would go to Manor College to study dentistry. Newton also intended to go to college.

Perhaps the change inspired Morgan to make a fresh start in other areas of his life as well. She ended her relationship with Newton, but he wasn’t that keen on moving on.

Newton sent terrifying messages to Morgan

He sent messages begging her to take him back. When he didn’t get the answers he wanted, he sent insults and threats.

Morgan told a friend that Newton had been abusive during their relationship, but did not say how out of control he was.

She had also started seeing someone new, and Newton was unhappy. Morgan blocked him on his social media and on his phone.

She also wrote on Instagram, “You can’t change people no matter how much you think they need to change. Was Morgan talking about Newton? It would be one of his last messages.

On the morning of July 27, 2020, police responded to an emergency call at around 8:15 a.m.

They arrived at Meadowbrook station in the suburbs of Philadelphia. They found Morgan’s blue SUV with the engine running in the station parking lot.

Morgan’s body was found next to his SUV in the parking lot at Meadowbrook station

Next to the car was Morgan’s bloodied body. She was on her back with over 30 wounds to her neck and stomach, and grazes to her arms. Two bloody knives lay on the ground.

Tragically, Morgan could not be saved. The area was turned into a crime scene and a police investigation was opened. A witness said he saw a white Jeep pull away from the scene at high speed.

In less than two hours there was another trail. Police were called by a woman who said her son was covered in blood and claimed to have injured a young woman.

When officers arrived at the northwest Philadelphia home, they saw a white Jeep parked outside and there was blood on the vehicle.

Inside the house, they found Newton sitting on a sofa with blood all over his clothes.

He also had injuries to his hands, including a cut. Newton admitted to stabbing Morgan and was arrested.

Gilbert Newton III’s family home

Investigators determined that Newton asked Morgan to meet him in the secluded parking lot at 7:30 a.m. He had said he wanted to talk about their breakup. He had taken two kitchen knives with him from home and hid them in the pocket of his hoodie.

Newton has been charged with Morgan’s murder and his family has been devastated by his death. Hundreds of mourners released balloons in his memory. A bright light had gone out – and everyone had questions.

At the trial in September this year, Newton spoke up to explain his side of events.

He admitted that he had arranged to meet Morgan to “see if she still cared” about him. He had seen a photo of her with another man on social media and wanted to know if they were dating.

Newton said he took the knives to kill himself – and to see if she would stop him and show she still cared. But Newton testified that they had an argument after he called her a derogatory name.

Morgan would have slapped him and spat at him, and he got angry.

“I had so many things on my mind,” he said. “I was supposed to stab myself, but as soon as she slapped me and spat on me, I thought, ‘She mustn’t care about me.'”

Newton said that was when he pulled out the knives. “Immediately I started stabbing,” he said.

The prosecution challenged his testimony. They said Newton had armed himself with the two knives he had taken from the kitchen in order to harm Morgan. And he even told her of his plans.

There were also shocking revelations about the text messages Newton sent to Morgan and his mother in the month leading up to the attack. “I’m going to cut off his head,” said one of them. “I’m really going to kill her.”

Officers at the scene of the crime

In another, he wrote: “I will stab her 57 times. Newton even warned Morgan to keep his “head on a pivot” because he was going to come get her. The prosecution said it showed he intended to kill Morgan that day.

“He used exact numbers – ‘I want to stab you in the neck 57 times’ – and the number of times the accused stabbed her shows that he intended to kill her,” said the charge.

While Newton claimed he could not remember any of the details of the murder, he sent another text shortly after stabbing his ex. “I killed Morgan about an hour ago,” one reads. “There was nothing to stop me. “

When confronted with the messages in court, Newton replied that he said things that didn’t make sense when he was upset.

He said he loved Morgan and his defense insisted he was an “immature child” but had a good character.

The prosecution reminded the court that he brought two knives to meet Morgan that day and showed no signs that he was going to kill himself – only that he had intended to injure Morgan.

When Newton saw Morgan’s social media post with another man, he clearly had a crush. “That’s when he hatched his plan to kill her,” they said. “If he couldn’t have it, no one could.”

Newton’s attorney said he was “distraught” during the incident and was upset by the split, but the prosecution argued he was trying to look like the victim. “It’s all about manipulation, everything revolves around him,” they said. “It’s never about Morgan and what he did to her.”

They pointed out that Newton remembered Morgan “spat on her and slapped her”, but nothing about stabbing her. It didn’t matter.

The jury deliberated for less than three hours and found Newton guilty of first degree murder and possession of an instrumentality.

Newton sat with his head in his hands knowing the mandatory punishment he faced.

The judge confirmed that it was a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Morgan’s uncle and godfather Frank McCaffery thanked the jury in court

Morgan’s mother Kathleen called Newton a “living monster” when she made her statement. “It’s a life sentence that you have imposed on all of us,” she told him. “I hate you. I will always hate you and never say your name again.

She shared the pain of her daughter’s last terrified moments. “I imagine Morgan running away from you every day,” she said.

Outside of court, Morgan’s uncle and godfather Frank McCaffery thanked the jury. “We are grateful that this animal never walks these streets again,” he said. “Tomorrow we’re going to wake up and start writing the rest of Morgan’s story because we’re determined not to let it end this way.”

Morgan’s family started a foundation called Morgan’s Light to raise awareness about teen dating violence and to help young people identify when they are in a toxic relationship.

Tragically, Morgan didn’t realize she was in danger until it was too late.


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