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Friday, March 31, 2023

Appalachia Noir: The Larry Paul McClure Murder Case

     Larry Paul McClure Sr., a registered sex offender served 17 years in prison for sexually molesting a young female relative. On February 14, 2019, the 55-year-old registered sex offender and his two daughters, 31-year-old Amanda McClure and 32-year-old Ann Choudhay, were together in their father's house in Skygusty, West Virginia. Amanda McClure's boyfriend, 38-year-old John Thomas McGuire was also in the dwelling that day. Skygusty, West Virginia is a small town in McDowell County in the southern part of the state near the Kentucky and Virginia state lines.

     John McGuire resided in Owatonna, Minnesota, a town of 25,000 located in the southern part of the state. His girlfriend, Amanda McClure, lived in Chisago, Minnesota, a small community 35 miles northeast of Minneapolis. Amanda had come to Skygusty, West Virginia with her boyfriend with the purpose of helping her father and her sister murder him.

     On Valentine's Day 2019, in the Skygusty house, Larry McClure Sr. hit John McGuire in the head with a wine bottle. The daughters tied up the unconscious victim, injected him with two vials of methamphetamine then looked on as their father strangled him to death.

     After killing John McGuire, Larry McClure Sr. and his daughters removed the dead man's clothing and buried him in the backyard. After disposing of the corpse, Mr. McClure and his daughter Amanda returned to the house where they had sex.

    A few days after burying John McGuire behind the Skygusty house, Larry McClure and his daughters dug up his body and moved it to a more remote area in the county. The trio deposited the corpse in another shallow grave, confident that if found, the decomposing body would not be connected to them.

     On March 11, 2019, Amanda McClure and her father drove to nearby Tazewell County, Virginia where they obtained a marriage license. A few days later, they were married in a small United Methodist church. Amanda, in applying for the marriage license, had listed the name of another man in place of her father's.

     More than seven months after John McGuire's cold-blooded murder, detectives in Minnesota, in the course of their missing persons investigation into the disappearance of Mr. John McGuire, received a tip that the missing man had been murdered and was buried in McDowell county, West Virginia. The caller implicated Larry McClure and his daughters. The Minnesota detectives called the authorities in West Virginia to inform them of the possible murder.

     On September 24, 2019, police officers in West Virginia, operating on the Minnesota tip, questioned Larry McClure Sr. on the pretext they were investigating his failure to comply with the terms of his sex offender registry. During that interview, Mr. McClure informed his questioners how he and his two daughters had murdered John McGuire. McClure said he didn't know exactly why his daughter Amanda wanted John McGuire dead, but did say she had planned his murder and had been spending Mr. McGuire's monthly Social Security checks. McClure led the police officers to the spot in McDowell County where he and his accomplices had buried the victim's body.

     A McDowell County prosecutor charged Larry Paul McClure Sr., Amanda McClure and Ann Marie Choudhay with first-degree murder. Police arrested Choudhay at her home in Boone, North Carolina. Amanda McClure was taken into custody at her residence in Chisago, Minnesota.

     On November 4, 2019, while incarcerated at the McDowell County Jail, Larry McClure Sr. wrote a letter in hand that read: "I just want it over. No trial. No taxpayer's money spent for a trial. It is hard for the state of West Virginia to fight against itself because I plead guilty! No contest. Thank you for your time in this matter."

      In July 2020, Amanda McClure pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The judge sentenced her to 40 years in prison. A month later, Larry Paul McClure pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 55 years to life. Anna Marie Choudhary, following her second-degree murder plea in April 2021, was sent to prison for forty years. 

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