Man Sentenced for Murdering Pregnant Wife to Avoid Baby’s Health Insurance Costs

A New York man, aged 30, faces a lifetime in prison after being convicted for the murder of his pregnant wife three years ago. The man, identified as Michael Owen, strangled his wife to death in her residence, reportedly to avoid paying for the health insurance of their unborn child. The sentencing was delivered by Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Robert A. McDonald, who ordered Owen to serve a minimum of 25 years to life in a state correctional facility for the 2020 murder of 27-year-old Kelly Owen.

In July 2023, a Nassau County jury found Michael Owen guilty of second-degree murder in the brutal killing of his estranged wife. According to County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly, Owen had driven to his wife’s house on January 15, 2020, with the intent to kill her. Kelly, a young mother and expectant of Owen’s child, was a childcare worker with aspirations of becoming a nurse. Her dreams were cut short by Owen, who will now serve time for his crimes.

The couple, who married in 2013 and had a child together, separated in March 2018. Despite their separation, they maintained a physical relationship for a while, which ended when Owen reportedly became violent. Investigators found that Owen decided to murder his wife, a nursing student, after she informed him of her pregnancy with their second child. Owen, already facing financial difficulties and in a new relationship, did not want another child, particularly the financial responsibility of the baby’s medical insurance.

On the day of the murder, Kelly Owen was in her apartment, located within her parents’ home in the 1200 block of First Avenue in Farmingdale. She worked as an aftercare program aide at a local elementary school and when she failed to report to work or call in sick, a coworker contacted her parents. Her lifeless body was later discovered in the apartment by her parents.

An autopsy revealed that she had been strangled with a “rope-like object” and was in the early stages of pregnancy. Surveillance footage showed that Michael Owen was in the vicinity of the victim’s neighborhood around 9:30 a.m. on the day of her death. Owen, a cell site technician, had parked two blocks away from Kelly’s home and turned off his phone before arriving in Farmingdale, making his cellphone location undetectable. However, his DNA was later found around the victim’s neck, leading to his arrest and subsequent charge of murder.