Four sentenced in JCC murder-for-hire of Dana Mackay

Four people were sentenced for the 2013 murder of Dana Patterson Mackay, 42, on Jan. 26.

Dana Mackay was found beaten to death in her James City County home on July 27, 2013.

Her husband, John Wayne Mackay, 45, and his girlfriend, Nicole Michelle Houchin, 37, planned the murder with Nace Eugene Houchin and Gregory Crawford, said Commonwealth's Attorney Nate Green.

John Mackay and Nichole Houchin entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution in which they each pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. The pair were initially charged with capital murder and conspiracy to commit murder, but these charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement, Green said.

John Mackay received a life sentence with all but 28 years and two months suspended, Green said.

Nicole Houchin received a life sentence with all but 23 years and 11 months suspended, Green said.

The pair offered Nichole Houchin's husband, Nace Eugene Houchin, 35, $20,000 to commit the murder. He also entered into a plea agreement in which he pleaded guilty to first degree murder, Green said.

Nace Houchin received a life sentence with all but 40 years suspended. He was initially charged with capital murder and conspiracy to commit murder, but these charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement, Green said.

Crawford, plead guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder for helping Nichole Houchin and Nace Houchin break into Dana Mackay's locked home using a credit card, Green said.

Crawford received a sentence of 20 years with three years suspended. He will serve 17 years, Green said.

Information for this article was retrieved from the Daily Press and Virginia Gazette archives.

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