June 06, 2020

Breakup led to slaying, suicide > Maine man led Massachusetts police on 30-mile chase along Route 495

HAVERHILL, Mass. — A Maine man despondent over the breakup of his marriage shot and killed his estranged wife’s boyfriend, then killed himself after a 30-mile state police chase, authorities said.

John Hurley III, 32, who once lived in Dracut, shot himself in the head about 11:30 p.m. Thursday with a shotgun which he had waved during the chase, Trooper Peter Carbone said.

Hurley was suspected in the death of Michael Moraski, 41, outside Moraski’s home in China, Maine, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Public Safety Department.

“Investigators feel this homicide was preplanned,” he said. “We theorize the breakup of the marriage is what led to these events.”

McCausland said Hurley parked at a nearby church and walked through woods to Moraski’s home, where he shot Moraski three times as he sat in his car outside his garage at 3 p.m., McCausland said.

McCausland said Hurley briefly stopped by the Windsor home of his estranged wife, Becky Hurley, but said nothing about the murder.

“He talked to one of his three children, and from his demeanor and what was said, Ms. Hurley was concerned that he might be suicidal,” McCausland said.

Police began to suspect Hurley might be involved in the homicide after Mrs. Hurley reported his visit, and police knew the two men had argued in the past, McCausland said.

Maine State Police put out a nationwide bulletin with a description of Hurley’s blue pickup truck.

Later that night, a police officer in Bolton saw a pickup on Interstate 495 that matched the description and radioed state police for help, Carbone said.

The chase began at 10:45 p.m., when police followed the pickup to Route 119 in Littleton and then eight miles to Chelmsford, where state police threw down “stop sticks” that punctured the vehicles’ tires, Carbone said.

Hurley continued to drive on his rims for 20 miles to Haverhill, where he shot himself, Carbone said.

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