Divorce or Murder Charges, Which Would You Choose?

January 30, 2012
By Jason Antoine on January 30, 2012 2:52 PM |

Morgan Marie Mengel of West Goshen Township in West Chester, Pennsylvania was not happy in her marriage. Instead of filing for divorce, she is on trial for his murder. According to public sources Ms. Mengel is accused of conspiring with her young lover, Stephen M. Shappel, to poisoning and fatally bludgeoning her husband, Kevin Mengel, Jr. on June 17, 2010.

On June 20, 2010, Kathleen Barton, Kevin Mengel's mother, reported her son missing after she received suspicious texts supposedly from her son stating he was "leaving the area and did not want to be bothered by anyone" stated West Goshen Police Chief Michael J. Carroll. On June 25, 2010, police investigators went to Mr. Mengel's landscaping business, MKB Property Maintenance to interview employees. While police were still on the premises, Ms. Mengel and Mr. Shappell, who was an employee at the landscaping business, arrived together and upon seeing the police, Mr. Shappell fled the scene in Ms. Mengel's truck. Police questioned Ms. Mengel. She first told police her husband left the area. Later she finally admitted that Stephen Shappell murdered her husband and she was aware of the murder.

Ms. Mengel was arraigned on June 25, 2010. The next day Kevin Mengel, Jr.'s body was found by cadaver dogs behind Marple Newtown High School. According to Chester County Deputy District Attorney Patrick Carmody and Assistant District Attorney Deborah Ryan, Ms. Mengel had been having an affair with Mr. Shappell since May 2010 and "had convinced 22-year-old Stephen Shappell to bludgeon Kevin Mengel with a shovel after she had poisoned him with a bottle of iced tea." On the morning of June 17, 2010, Stephen Shappell did just that, breaking two shovels in the process, but not without text messages from Ms. Mengel urging him to "not chicken out." After the murder, Mr. Shappell texted Ms. Mengel to come to the landscaping business where the prosecution alleges they tied up the body in a tarp, cleaned the area and Mr. Shappell took the body and buried it behind Marple Newtown High School. Stephen Shappell has already pled guilty to murder charges and is expected to testify for the prosecution.

The Mengel's were married in 1998 after the birth of their first child and by 1999 court records show custody disputes. The couple went on to have two more children during their marriage and in 2004, Ms. Mengel filed for divorce, but then withdrew the complaint a month later. Trial for this case is scheduled for early February.

Contact Pennsylvania Criminal Lawyer, Jason R. Antoine, Esquire at (610) 299-0295 if you or someone you know has been charged with a crime in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.