Murder on Valentine's Night

Was it murder? Twenty-three-year-old Marlene Magee did not receive a dozen red roses, chocolate hearts, or a romantic candlelight dinner with her lover on Valentine’s night.  Instead she received a shotgun blast to her face which took her life and the life of her unborn baby, a tiny girl who would have been born two months later and was already named Natalie. Did her longtime boyfriend, twenty-six-year-old Andre Calac, take her life and the life of his daughter in a fit of angry obsession or was this a tragic accident after a night of meth and alcohol use?

Marlene Magee and Andrea Calac had a long history together, first meeting as young children on the Rincon Indian Reservation, where they continued to live. By all accounts they had a tempestuous relationship. Others would say it was much worse, criminal in fact, that Magee was a victim of repeated domestic violence. But would it end in murder? What exactly happened on Valentine’s night of 2004 may never be known. What is known is one week before her death, Magee moved out of the couple’s trailer as “she was sick of it all and wanted to get her life in gear.” Late in the evening of Valentine’s day, Calac went to see Magee at her mother’s home. Magee was last seen alive at 2:30 a.m. lying on the couch in her pajamas. Sometime after 2:30 a.m. Magee went with Calac back to their former home. Whether she left by her own free will or was forced remains debatable, but by 2:45 a.m. she was dead.

What transpired in that short period of time was vigorously contested, but all sides agreed that Calac’s shotgun was fired once, taking off Calac’s thumb and part of the left side of Magee’s face. After the shooting, Calac put Magee in his car and drove to the Department of Forestry, where Magee bled to death on the ground.

At trial, the prosecution argued murder, saying Calac was all about power and control, that he was losing Magee, and killed her because “if he could not have her, no one could.” To highlight Calac’s violent nature, the prosecutor presented a sign Calac had written and prominently displayed in his home: “Do Not Enter. No Exceptions. Violators are subject to being shot, stabbed, choked, clubbed, or simply beat down!! And then violated!! Enter at your own dumbass risk.”

The defense argued that it was not murder, but a tragic accident. Magee and Calac were still in love and the shooting took place while both parties were under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol. Yes, Magee, seven months pregnant tested positive for meth and alcohol. It was a fact that could not be ignored.

After two days of deliberation, a jury found Calac guilty of second-degree murder of Magee and of the baby, with the additional gun use allegations. Calac was sentenced to eighty years to life in prison, but died in prison on August 27, 2015. The manner of death was not released.

This was the real life case that was presented at the Citizens’ Academy on March 30, 2016.  If you want to read more about the case, please view the case file: People v Andre Francis Calac, SCN 174180. You may also read the following news story:

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About Aleida K. Wahn, Esq.

I am an attorney, award-winning true crime writer, and legal analyst of criminal cases. I cover criminal trials and write stories and books about compelling, gripping, and unforgettable cases that impact our world. I take you into the courtroom in high-profile murder trials, rape cases, crimes of passion, cases involving mental illness, deviant behavior, and more. I have a deep passion for true crime, criminal law, and all aspects of the criminal justice system. I have appeared as an expert on true crime shows, including “48 Hours,” “Snapped,” and “The Dead Files,” and provided legal analysis on high-profile criminal trials on Court TV, the Law & Crime Trial Network, Fox 5 News, ABC 10 News, and KUSI News. I also create and host shows with the Del Mar Television Producers Group, addressing criminal justice and social issues in recent criminal trials.

I provided my insight and legal analysis on Court TV and the Law & Crime Trial Network of the high-profile trial of former NFL star Kellen Winslow Jr. It was a trial that captured the nation as the heralded ex-football star with fame, fortune, and a famous name stood accused of multiple rapes and other sex crimes involving five women. As the trial delved into shocking facts, complicated legal issues, and unexpected twists and turns, I was there for every minute. After the trial, I wrote a book on the case, going behind the headlines to share the extraordinary details of what happened inside the courtroom. Judging Winslow Jr.: From NFL Star to Serial Rapist? Inside the Shocking Rape Trial of Kellen Boswell Winslow II is now available on Amazon.

I am passionate about telling true crime stories, as these penetrating stories have the power to move us all, while highlighting societal issues which need to be addressed. I have personally seen the human devastation which is present in each trial and believe there is a lesson to be learned in every single case. It is through awareness and examining critical issues society can effect change and even make new laws. To learn more, please visit:

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