Man Speaks Out About Ex-Wife’s Alleged Murder Plot

A West Fork man who was the target of his ex-wife’s alleged murder plot says her arrest Friday shocked him.

Shirley Ann Mugley, 40, was arrested Friday (July 19) after authorities say she made a pipe bomb in a plot to kill her husband, Michael Mugley, according to a preliminary arrest affidavit from the Washington County prosecuting attorney.

She was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on $50,000 bond and faces felony charges of conspiracy, criminal possession of explosives and criminal use of a prohibited weapon, according to the Sheriff’s Office website.

The report states Shirley Mugley planned to plant the device on her husband’s car.

“I’m surprised. I never thought it would have gone this far,” Michael Mugley told 5NEWS. “I’ve known her since high school.”

The bomb his ex-wife allegedly meant to kill him with was discovered by authorities April 20, the couple’s 12th wedding anniversary. Mugley said the date is no coincidence, and that he believes Shirley Mugley was after his retirement policy. He said his life insurance policy is worth nearly $200,000.

The couple was granted a divorce in Washington County in May, according to court records. They have three children under the age of 18 together, according to records.

Deputies said Andrew Cox, who faces a felony charge of criminal use of a prohibited weapon, told police he went with Shirley Mugley to buy materials to make the pipe bomb. Cox and Mugley made the bomb in the basement of Mugley’s house on the 14000 block of Highway 265 South, according to a preliminary arrest report.

Cox, 20, had a previous romantic relationship with Mugley, the report said. He was released from the Washington County Detention Center on $5,000 bond late Friday afternoon, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Police said they obtained video of Mugley buying a cell phone that matches the phone that was attached to the pipe bomb, the report said. The report said police recorded a phone call between Cox and Mugley during which Mugley discussed the pipe bomb and the conspiracy to kill her husband.

The pipe bomb was found in April in the Illinois River in rural Washington County, according to the sheriff’s office. Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder said Cox threw the pipe bomb in the river after he “chickened out.”

Helder said Mugley and her husband had a history of domestic disturbances and Mugley was displeased with the sheriff department’s handling of the situation. The couple was in the end stages of a divorce, Helder said.

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