Husband of du Pont heiress promised he'd protect her son in murder case

LAS VEGAS - An FBI agent testified Tuesday that Dean MacGuigan was wired twice in attempts to coax a confession from his stepfather after MacGuigan's ex-prostitute girlfriend was murdered.

Agent Brett Shields was the last defense witness in the conspiracy-to-commit-murder-for-hire trial of Ricardo Murillo, 38, of Las Vegas.

Closing arguments could begin Wednesday.

MacGuigan's stepfather, Christopher Moseley, 59, of Centerville, Del., and Diana Hironaga, 41, of Las Vegas, an ex-porn star, have already pleaded guilty in the plot that ended with the Aug. 2, 1998, death of MacGuigan's girlfriend Patricia Margello.

Moseley testified earlier that he sent MacGuigan, an heir of the du Pont family, to Las Vegas to straighten his life out and divorce his estranged wife, who was draining his part of the family fortune. But Margello followed him and their relationship, built around drugs, repulsed the plan, witnesses said.

Moseley met Hironaga, a ''small, two-bit ex-porn star'' and hired her to murder the prostitute. She in turn, recruited Murillo and Joseph Balignasa, 26, of Las Vegas, to help her. She testified earlier that Murillo was the one who strangled Margello.

MacGuigan is the son of du Pont heiress Lisa Dean Moseley. Neither was charged in the slaying.

Shields said agents taped two conversations in 1998 between Moseley and MacGuigan. The first was on Aug. 28 in a steak house at the Las Vegas Hilton. He said MacGuigan had been coached to try and coax an admission out of Moseley.

Shields said he sat at the next table during the two-hour conversation. Moseley told MacGuigan, ''If you had done what I said in the first place, none of this would have happened,'' Shields testified.

The agent said Moseley told MacGuigan: ''You'll be all right. I guaranteed your mother you would be, and you will be.

''I take care of my own,'' he told his stepson.

A second conversation was taped at the Moseley home in Delaware on Sept. 16. This time, Moseley's response was different.

''Dean was trying to solicit from Moseley who was involved,'' Shields testified. ''Moseley this time denied any involvement.''

Moseley was implicated by Hironaga when the trail led police to her. She rented in her own name the motel room where the slaying took place.

Both Hironaga and Moseley have taken the stand during Murillo's trial.

Hironaga and Moseley said she was paid $5,000 and Murillo $10,000 to kill Margello.

U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush refused Tuesday to allow into evidence a confession by Balignasa because Balignasa contends he was coerced into making it. A retrial on state charges against him is scheduled in January.


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