Margaret Allen is currently on Florida death row for the murder of her housekeeper. According to court documents Margaret Allen suspected the woman of stealing from her and instead of firing the woman she proceeded to murder her after torturing the woman for hours. Margaret Allen was arrested, convicted and sentenced to death in Florida
Margaret Allen 2019 Information
|Name:||ALLEN, MARGARET A|
|Initial Receipt Date:||05/19/2011|
|Current Facility:||LOWELL ANNEX|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
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Housekeeper Wanda Wright died a horrible death. She was beaten, had bleach poured down her throat and her mouth duct-taped before she was strangled with a belt.
The 39-year-old Titusville woman was killed, police said Friday, because Margaret Allen, whose house she cleaned, was convinced that Wright had stolen a purse containing $2,000.
As Margaret Allen, her 18-year-old son, Quintin, and her boyfriend, James Terry Martin of Titusville, went to court Friday to face charges in the case, investigators collected evidence from Wright’s shallow grave west of Mims.
“I cannot imagine what she went through, having to ingest cleaning fluids and having a belt tied around her throat,” said Cmdr. John Lau of the Titusville Police Department. “This is just pure torture.”
According to police, Wright was cleaning the house Tuesday when Margaret Allen, who has a long criminal history, accused her of stealing the purse.
After failing to elicit a confession by beating her, Margaret Allen, 39, poured bleach and other household chemicals down Wright’s throat as Quintin Allen held her down, police spokesman Warren Van Vuren said.
After the mother and son covered Wright’s mouth with duct tape, Margaret Allen wrapped a belt around her neck and strangled her, Van Vuren said.
The two then enlisted Martin, 54, to help dispose of the heavyset woman’s body on the following night, he said.
“They hauled her out on plywood and drove on State Road 46 to the middle of the woods,” Van Vuren said. There, the three dug a shallow hole and buried her, he said.
On Thursday, Wright’s husband, Johnny Dublin, reported her missing.
But it wasn’t until later that same day when a tipster walked into the police station that investigators realized she might have been killed.
“This [investigation] all started with somebody coming in the lobby and saying, ‘I think there may have been a murder,’ ” Lau said.
The informant, whose name was withheld, learned about the crime from one of the three suspects, Van Vuren said.
After arresting Quintin Allen late Thursday on an unrelated warrant, the teen led investigators to Wright’s grave, police said. Margaret Allen and Martin were arrested a short time later.
Both mother and son were arrested on charges of first-degree murder and false imprisonment, and Martin has been charged with accessory after the fact. All three were being held late Friday at the Brevard County Jail in Sharpes.
It was not Margaret Allen’s first brush with the law. Police and court records indicate she has been arrested at least 28 times since 1988. Charges have included everything from shoplifting to aggravated battery, drug possession and child abuse.
Her son pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession, according to court files.
Dublin could not be reached for comment Friday.
Despite Margaret Allen’s extensive criminal history, relatives said they were surprised by her arrest.
“Oh, Lord, was I shocked,” said Floyd Strozier, 84, who lives three houses away from Allen, his stepgranddaughter. “All I knew was that she was fooling around with some dope and stuff.
“Margaret always treated me with respect,” he added. “That’s all I can say for her.”
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Margaret Allen is currently incarcerated at the Lowell Annex the home of death row for women in Florida
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Margaret Allen was sentenced to death for the murder of her housekeeper
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A jury trial commenced on September 13, 2010. Johnny Dublin testified for the State. Dublin testified that on the day Wright went missing, Allen came to Dublin and Wright’s house and whispered something into Wright’s ear. In response, Wright and Allen left the house together. A little while later, Allen returned to Dublin’s house and told Dublin that Wright stole about $2000 of Allen’s money and Allen asked Dublin if she could search his house. Dublin obliged and Allen searched Dublin’s house. Dublin testified that he noticed that Allen had scratches on her when she came back to his house. Dublin asked Allen where Wright was, and Allen responded that she was still at Allen’s house. Dublin testified that the next day, Allen came back to his house and asked him where Wright was. Dublin testified that Quintin was with Allen.
Quintin Allen testified for the State. He acknowledged that he was serving a fifteen-year sentence of incarceration followed by five years’ probation for his guilty plea for second-degree murder based on his involvement in Wright’s murder. Quintin testified that he was at Allen’s house on the day of the murder when Allen noticed that her purse was missing. Allen left her house and told Quintin to stay with her children. Allen returned to her house with Wright and asked Quintin to come inside. Allen told Quintin that Wright must have stolen Allen’s purse because Wright was the only person at Allen’s house before the purse went missing. Allen and Quintin searched for the purse. Allen left the house again and told Quintin not to let Wright leave if she tried. At one point while Allen was gone, Wright tried to leave; Quintin told Wright that Allen wanted her to stay, and Wright obliged.
Upon Allen’s return, Quintin plaited Allen’s hair. Quintin testified that at one point Wright started crying and begged Allen to let her go home. Wright attempted to leave Allen’s house and Allen hit Wright on the head; Wright fell to the ground. Quintin testified that Allen had a gun and told him that if he did not help her with Wright, she would shoot him, so Quintin held Wright down on the floor. While he held Wright down, Allen found chemicals including bleach, fingernail polish remover, rubbing alcohol and hair spritz and poured them all onto Wright’s face. At one point, one of Allen’s children walked into the room in which this was taking place, and Allen told the child to rip off a piece of duct tape for Allen. Allen attempted to put the duct tape over Wright’s mouth, but because Wright’s face was wet from the chemicals that were poured on her face, the duct tape would not stick to her skin. Allen retrieved belts from her closet and beat Wright with them. Quintin then tied Wright’s feet together with one of the belts. Quintin testified that at that point Wright was not struggling. Allen then put one of the belts around Wright’s neck and pulled. At one point, Wright said, “Please, stop. Please stop. I am going to piss myself.” Wright’s body started shaking and after about three minutes, Wright did not move. Allen then told Quintin to get some sheets to tie Wright’s hands together in case Wright woke up.
Quintin left soon after the incident. Allen called Quintin throughout the night, but he did not answer her calls. The next day, Allen found Quintin at the barbershop. Quintin testified that Allen still had the gun. Quintin got into the truck that Allen was driving; James Martin was also in the truck. Allen told Quintin that Wright was dead. Allen then told Quintin that he had to help her get rid of the body.
Allen, Quintin, and Martin drove to Lowe’s to buy plywood to help move Wright’s body from inside the house into the truck. They also borrowed a dolly hand truck from a local shop to help move the body. Quintin testified that upon returning to Allen’s house, Wright’s body had been moved from where he had last seen her and had been wrapped in Allen’s carpet. They were eventually able to get Wright’s body into the truck. Then, all three took shovels from Allen’s mother’s tool shed and drove to an area off of the highway to dump Wright’s body. Quintin and Martin dug a hole while Allen stood as a lookout. They placed Wright’s body in the hole, covered the hole with debris, and took the carpet with them. They threw the carpet into a dumpster outside of a truck stop and picked up Allen’s daughter from school. Quintin went to the police and turned himself in. Quintin also took the police to the place where Wright’s body had been buried.
James Martin testified that he was sentenced to sixty months’ incarceration for his participation in hiding Wright’s body. Martin testified that on the day of the murder, he was at Allen’s house helping her repair a car. Allen asked Martin to help her search for her purse, and Martin did. He testified that he left Allen’s house around 10 p.m. to get a starter belt for the car. Martin finished repairing the car and asked Allen if she had any cocaine. She did not, so Martin left Allen’s house, found cocaine, came back to Allen’s house, and smoked it. Martin testified that when he got back from finding the cocaine, Wright was the only one at Allen’s house. Martin testified that the timing of the events of the day was unclear because he had been high. Martin testified that he slept at Allen’s house until the morning and got a ride from Allen when she took her children to school. At that point, Allen told Martin that she needed help. Allen and Martin went back to Allen’s house, and Martin saw Wright’s body. Martin testified that Allen told him, “He must have hit her too hard.” Martin testified that he noticed a bandana tied around Wright’s hands.
Allen told Martin that they had to bury Wright’s body. Allen sent Martin to Allen’s brother’s house to borrow a truck. Martin testified that the truck was never found by police. Martin testified that the entire plan, including getting the plywood at Lowe’s was Allen’s idea. Martin testified that he was the only smoker of the group, and he dumped all of the ashtrays out of the car after they buried the body. When they got back to Allen’s house, Quintin left, and Martin cleaned the nylon strap that had been used to secure the carpet around Wright’s body. Martin also washed the truck but testified that he did not know what became of the vehicle. Martin was at Allen’s house when the police came to Allen’s house with a search warrant.
On cross-examination, Martin testified that it was Quintin who first told Wright that she could not leave. Martin also testified that Quintin gave directions to bury the body. The defense elicited that Martin told Allen’s sister that Quintin “did this.” On redirect, the State elicited from Martin that he was asleep and did not see who killed Wright.
Denise Fitzgerald, a crime scene technician, testified that she exhumed Wright’s body and located a cigarette butt in the vicinity. The State and defense stipulated that the DNA found on the cigarette butt was consistent with Martin’s DNA.
Dr. Sajid Qaiser, a forensic pathologist and chief medical examiner for Brevard County, testified that while he did not perform the autopsy on Wright, he had reviewed the autopsy report. He testified that Dr. Robert Whitmore,1 the medical examiner who had performed the autopsy on Wright was no longer the chief medical examiner. Dr. Qaiser testified that a body cannot bruise once dead and that Wright had bruising in the following places: upper and lower eye lid, front and back of her ear, left torso, all over the left side, trunk, right hand, thigh, knee, left eyebrow, forehead, upper arm and shoulder area. Additionally, Wright’s chest, hands, torso, face, and lower lip had contusions. Wright’s wrist showed signs of ligation, meaning her hands were tied. Wright’s neck showed signs of ligation, meaning that she was either hung or something was tied tightly around her neck. Dr. Qaiser testified that his medical conclusion was that Wright’s death was the result of homicidal violence, and strangulation and ligature were an important cause of death. Dr. Qaiser testified that Wright was morbidly obese, with an enlarged heart, which contributed to her death. He testified that it would take from four to six minutes of strangulation to die. He could not tell whether she was rendered unconscious during the beating.
The State rested, and the defense filed a motion for judgment of acquittal asserting that the State had not proven the underlying charge of kidnapping for felony murder. The trial court denied the motion, and the defense rested without calling any witnesses. The jury found Allen guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping.
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