Nassau County, NY District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced today that a St. James man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the brutal murder of his estranged wife in January 2020.
Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Robert McDonald handed down the sentence.
“The place you are going is a cold, dark place, but not as cold and as dark as your heart is,” Judge McDonald told Michael Owen before delivering the sentence.
Michael Owen, 30, was convicted of Murder in the Second Degree on July 28, 2023, at a trial before Judge McDonald. It only took two hours for the jury to convict him.
“Michael Owen drove to his estranged wife’s house on January 15, 2020, with the intention of killing her,” said DA Donnelly.
“Kelly was a young mother and pregnant with Owen’s child at the time of her brutal murder. She worked with children and had dreams of becoming a nurse. Michael Owen stole those dreams, and now he will pay for his crimes in prison. Our thoughts remain with Kelly’s family as they continue to mourn her loss,” Donnelly said in a statement.
Michael Owen had been a Marine and then found a career as a tower technician.
Donnelly said that on January 15, 2020, Kelly Owen was at her apartment on First Avenue in Farmingdale. The 27-year-old nursing student lived on the same property as her parents and shared custody of her then-six-year-old child with her husband, Michael, from whom she was separated.
At the time of her death, Kelly Owen worked as an aide at an aftercare program at a local elementary school between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. When she did not show up for work, a co-worker called Kelly’s parents, and her parents discovered Kelly’s lifeless body, Donnelly said.
Kelly Owen was strangled with a rope-like object, and it was determined that she was in the early stages of pregnancy with Michael Owen’s child.
“Video surveillance revealed that Michael Owen’s vehicle was in the victim’s neighborhood at approximately 9:30 that morning. Michael Owen – who was employed as a cell site technician – parked two blocks away from Kelly’s home and turned his phone off before arriving in Farmingdale, making his cellphone location undetectable,” Donnelly said.
DNA evidence from Michael Owen was discovered around Kelly’s neck. He was arrested by members of the Nassau County Police Department’s Homicide Squad on January 28, 2020.
Michael and Kelly Owen married in 2013, had a child, and separated in March 2018. They continued a physical relationship for some time after separating, but authorities said that, too, ended when Michael Owen became violent.
“He did not want this child,” Nassau police Detective Lieutenant Stephen Fitzpatrick said in a statement after his arrest. “He did not want to give her medical insurance. He had this new relationship he was involved in, and he was in a bad position.”
“I did not do this,” Michael Owen said before his sentencing. His lawyer said he would file an appeal of Owen’s conviction and promised to continue fighting to clear his client.