An Ocean County jury this week returned a guilty verdict against a Brick Township woman who stood accused of killing her wife with a wine chilling device.
Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus, 49, of Brick Township, was found guilty of Murder in connection with the death of her wife, Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus, following a nearly three-week jury trial before Superior Court Judge Rochelle Gizinski.
The murder occurred sometime between May 16 and 17, 2020 in Brick Township, prosecutors said. In rendering its verdict, the jury – which deliberated for less than two hours – concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Gavilanez-Alectus purposely or knowingly caused the death of Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus, or that she purposely or knowingly caused serious bodily injury to Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus which resulted in her death.
The jury also found Gavilanez-Alectus guilty of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and unlawful possession of a weapon. Specifically, the jury determined that Gavilanez-Alectus was guilty of using a cylindrical container-shaped wine chiller in the commission of the murder.
Gavilanez-Alectus is scheduled to be sentenced by Gizinski on November 17, 2022, at which time she faces a sentence of life in prison.
The investigation into the slaying began after Brick police were called to a Creek Road residence on May 17, 2020 for a report of an “unresponsive female.” Upon arrival, officers found the lifeless body of Rebecca Gavilanez-Alectus in an upstairs bedroom of the residence. The following day, the Ocean County Medical Examiner performed a post-mortem examination of the victim’s body, and determined the manner of her death to be a homicide.
Brick and county detectives, plus the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, conducted an investigation that would reveal both the victim and the defendant resided at the Creek Road address, and that the wine chiller was the murder weapon. But by this time, Mayra Gavilanez-Alectus had fled to Texas. She was caught three days later by Houston, Tex. police.
Senior Assistant Prosecutor Meghan O’Neill and Assistant Prosecutor Kaitlyn Burke handled the case for the prosecution.