2021 | Courts

Rockville man pleads guilty to killing his mother outside a Potomac church in 2018

He was found competent to stand trial this fall

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A Rockville man who Montgomery County police say killed his mother three years ago outside of a church pleaded guilty in Circuit Court on Tuesday, the State’s Attorney’s Office announced.

Kevin McGuigan, 24, pleaded guilty to killing his mother, Jaclyn McGuigan, 49, outside the St. Raphael Catholic Church at 1513 Dunster Road in Potomac. He had been found competent to stand trial prior to the plea. Police said an “unknown cutting weapon” appears to have been used in the killing.

McGuigan will be sentenced Jan. 3 and could face a life term in prison.

According to charging documents, police were called to the church around 6 p.m. on Dec. 28, 2018, and found Jaclyn McGuigan’s body with blood nearby. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Two witnesses told detectives they heard someone screaming outside of the church that night, and then saw Kevin McGuigan standing over his mother’s body. One of the witnesses told police that they chased McGuigan, and the suspect then fled in a Honda.

According to the documents, police found the Honda at a park nearby and determined that it was registered to Jaclyn McGuigan. They then determined she was the victim found at the church by matching her face to her photo on file with the state Motor Vehicle Administration. Police said they also found Kevin McGuigan’s phone inside the vehicle and it had blood on it.

McGuigan was charged with first-degree murder, but was found incompetent to stand trial in 2019 and was committed early that year to the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in Jessup—a maximum-security state psychiatric hospital. Employees at Perkins have said McGuigan was receiving medication involuntarily to manage symptoms of schizophrenia.

Following a later finding of competency, McGuigan was ordered to be transferred to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility.

In July, McGuigan was again found incompetent and was ordered to go to the same state psychiatric hospital. However the State’s Attorney’s Office said in a statement Tuesday that he was later found competent in the fall.

David Martella, McGuigan’s attorney, said in a statement to Bethesda Beat Tuesday when asked for a comment on the plea that “on this occasion, we will have to let the record speak for itself.” He did not comment further.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com