By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A trial has been ordered for a Northeast Philadelphia man charged with murdering his wife last August.  The woman’s body was found in Pennypack Park the day after she was reported missing.

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During the preliminary hearing for Christopher Murray, a Philadelphia homicide detective testified that the defendant confessed and said he “snapped,” then said he wished for a time machine to go back.

After the body of jogger Constance Murray was found in Pennypack Park, police conducted a search for the killer for several days — until suspicion turned to the husband.

Constance Murray, 46, had been strangled, and the alleged confession suggests it was a confrontation brewing for months over Christopher’s phone calls and text messages with another married woman, a friend of theirs.

And on the night of the murder, prosecutor Joanne Pescatore says, they apparently argued, Constance Murray left the house, and her husband followed her.

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“They did have a discussion up at those benches (in Pennypack Park), and it wasn’t going, we believe, the way he wanted it to,” says Pescatore.  “And he choked her. He strangled her. And it’s our belief that he left her body there and staged it to appear as if it wasn’t what it was.”

Investigators say he took evidence and discarded it, then made up a series of lies — including calling the police to report her missing a few hours later.

Christopher Murray sat through most of the hearing with his face in his hands. The defense declined comment.

 

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