The San Diego Union Tribune reports that federal prosecutors are considering seeking the death penalty against a passenger who is charged with beating his wife to death while on a Carnival cruise last summer.
The newspaper reports that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego charged Robert John McGill with first-degree murder and kidnapping of his wife, Shirley.
Mr. McGill is charged with beating his wife to death in their cabin aboard the Carnival cruise ship Elation on July 14, 2009. The newspaper reports that court records quote witnesses as saying Robert McGill appeared extremely intoxicated - not an uncommon occurrence on cruise ships.
Mr. McGill also reportedly admitted killing his wife to passengers, cruise ship line employees, and FBI agents who arrived on the cruise ship.
The Los Angeles’ Daily News previously reported that “Defendant Robert McGill stated he killed his wife in the bathroom of their cabin with his bare hands,” according to a criminal complaint filed by a FBI special agent.
An autopsy conducted by the San Diego County medical examiner concluded that Ms. McGill died of strangulation and blunt force injury to her head and body.
According to the Cruise Ship Forum, Carnival stated that notwithstanding the murder and the arrival of 20 FBI agents, the Elation’s scheduled departure would not be delayed.
Mr. McGill is shown to the right being escorted off the crew gangway by a FBI agent, as passengers are seen boarding the passenger gangway above to begin their cruise on schedule.
Carnival's motto: Load em' off, load em' in. Let the drinking begin . . .
Robert John McGill with FBI L.A. Times
Carnival Elation cruise ship Cruise Ship Forum "FBI Involved in Carnival Elation Murder"