Man Who Planned to Kill His Way to Obama Gets Death

James McVay killed elderly SD woman, stole her car

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2014 1:22 AM CDT

(Newser) – A man who murdered an elderly South Dakota woman in what he described as the first step in a plot to kill and steal his way to Washington and assassinate President Obama has been sentenced to death. After walking away from a minimum-security prison unit, James McVay drank alcohol and cough syrup, asked Satan for guidance, and broke into the home of 75-year-old Maybelle Schein, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports. He stabbed her to death, stole her car, and told police about his Obama plan when he was apprehended a few hours later.

McVay, 44, pleaded guilty but mentally ill to first-degree murder and a jury voted unanimously for the death penalty after deciding the killing was "wantonly vile and inhuman." Without a unanimous vote, McVay would have been sentenced to life without parole, the AP notes. "I don't have a lot to say here," said the judge as he formalized the jury's verdict in a hearing yesterday. "This is a situation where a jury's verdict has a lot more weight than what I could say."

James McVay is escorted into Minnehaha County Court in Sioux Falls earlier this year.
James McVay is escorted into Minnehaha County Court in Sioux Falls earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Elisha Page, File)
James McVay walks into court in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
James McVay walks into court in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.   (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Jay Pickthorn, FIle)
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