Young Wife Shot Dead: Is Her Husband to Blame?

Did Jimmy Motz murder wife Melissa Hunt Motz?
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Melissa Huntley married Jimmy Motz in December 2000. Two months later, she was dead of a single gunshot wound -- a bullet fired from under her chin that traveled up to her head. A wedding and a funeral, but in between, there were 62 days of love and trouble in the short, strange marriage of the Rock Hill, S.C., couple.

On Valentine's Day 2001, the couple had been fighting. The falling out was so bad, the newlyweds slept in separate beds. Motz says Melissa, 35, woke up the next morning still so upset she was sobbing.

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By that night, the air had cleared enough so that they went out together. After drinking and smoking marijuana, Motz said he and his wife drove his Ford Thunderbird a half an hour north to a Charlotte strip club called the Paper Doll Lounge.

But, according to Motz, there were further upsets after he paid a stripper for an up close and personal table dance; Melissa stormed out of the club.

"There was some argument where she got up and went to get a taxi to go home," said Charles Cabaniss, who was in charge of the Rock Hill Police Department's homicide unit at the time. "[Motz] got her in the vehicle, and they left. Mr. Motz indicates there was no arguments, no words; he said there was not even ... conversation all the way home."

VIDEO: Jimmy Motz says wife shot herself in parking lot, but bystander didnt hear it.
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During the drive home, Motz said Melissa, riding in the front passenger seat, took his loaded .32 magnum revolver out of the glove compartment. Motz claims he took it away from her and put it back.

There was no more excitement the rest of the way home, according to Motz, until they pulled into the parking lot of their apartment complex.

Motz said he got out and was walking around the car to help Melissa out when he suddenly heard a gunshot and saw a puff of smoke inside the car. His wife had taken the gun out of the glove compartment again, Motz said, and this time, placed it under her chin, and shot herself.

Did Jimmy Motz Murder His Wife?

Motz went back into the car, and said he touched Melissa's face, getting blood on his hands as he tried to "wake her up."

Abandoning any efforts to provide first aid or comfort his dying wife, Motz took the gun from her lap, went out into the parking lot, and fired the remaining rounds into the air, in what he said was an effort to get help.

CLICK HERE to see photos of the crime scene

But Chris Campbell, a neighbor who happened to be outside, said he had already approached Motz, and then ran inside to call 911. Campbell said he saw everything that happened there in the parking lot from the moment Jimmy and Melissa Motz pulled in but said he never saw or heard a gunshot from inside the car.

Wife's Family Doesn't Believe It's Suicide

Melissa's friends and family couldn't believe that their cheerful daughter would take her own life. Her parents, Patsy and Larry Huntley, said their daughter hated guns. They also said she was planning for the future, buying greeting cards for upcoming holidays. They received a Valentine's Day card from their daughter the day after she died.

"I have a box of cards that she had bought ahead and she had bought a Mother's Day card and a Father's Day card and a birthday card for her brother," her mother Patsy Huntley said.

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