A life sentence in jail was imposed today on a cruise passenger by a Federal District Judge for a murder on a cruise ship which occurred two years ago.
In July 2009, Robert and Shirley McGill cruised to Cabo San Lucas aboard the Carnival Elation cruise ship to celebrate Mr. McGill’s 55th birthday and his wife’s retirement.
But following heavy drinking ashore in Mexico, McGill strangled and beat his wife to death in their cabin. McGill was arrested when the Elation arrived in San Diego.
We wrote about the cruise crime last year – Prosecutors May Seek Death Penalty In Carnival Cruise Murder Case.
McGill apologized for his actions at the court sentencing today although he didn’t explain why he killed his wife.
His defense attorney argued that McGill was a good man who made a horrible mistake after getting drunk.
According to the AP, the defense lawyer argued that his client hallucinated after drinking a half bottle of Mezcal and seven or eight beers. He was so intoxicated that he had to be helped up the gangway after drinking in Cabo. McGill said he believed a scorpion that was in the Mezcal bottle had "set him off."
U.S. Chief District Judge Irma Gonzalez said she didn’t buy the scorpion-made-do-it excuse.
The Court noted that after killing his wife, McGill cleaned himself up and then went to an upper deck to smoke a cigar. Other news accounts report that he ordered a bucket of beer which he continued to drink as the cruise ship headed back to the U.S.