IMAGE: Melanie McGuire
Mel Evans  /  AP
Murder suspect Melanie McGuire talks to her attorneys in Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick, N.J., on Monday.
updated 10/31/2006 1:01:28 PM ET 2006-10-31T18:01:28

A woman accused of hacking her husband into pieces and dumping his remains in suitcases has been indicted on new charges of writing anonymous letters to throw detectives off her trail.

An indictment unsealed Monday charged Melanie McGuire with hindering prosecution, evidence tampering and filing false reports. She pleaded not guilty.

Police discovered the killing in May 2004 when three suitcases containing the remains of computer programmer William T. McGuire washed up on the shore of Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.

Assistant Attorney General Patricia Prezioso revealed new allegations in the case Monday, saying that before her husband’s disappearance Melanie McGuire searched the Internet on topics such as using pesticides as poisons, gun laws and methods of committing murder.

Prezioso alleged in court that McGuire, a reproductive health care nurse, forged a prescription for a powerful sedative that she used to sedate her husband before shooting him and dismembering the body inside their Woodbridge apartment.

The new charges center on two anonymous letters. One rambling letter to former Attorney General Peter Harvey, penned last year, claimed McGuire did not kill her husband. The second letter, sent inside a package containing a ring alleged to be the victim’s wedding band, and a key to his car, said the items were found in trash at the victim’s sister’s workplace along with notes on “how to set up Melanie” for murder.

McGuire has been free on $2 million bail on the murder charges and posted $100,000 additional bail imposed Monday.

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