A former U.S. Marine is standing trial in Australia on charges of murdering his boss by stabbing her and slitting her throat in retaliation for bad employment references.
In the April revenge killing of Michelle Beets (pictured at left), Walter Ciaran Marsh used a stabbing technique that he learned as a Marine, jurors assigned to the trial were told during the first day of the hearing Wednesday, according to The Daily Telegraph newspaper. At the time, Beets was a hospital emergency manager at Royal North Shore Hospital near Sydney.
Marsh, a U.S. citizen who worked at the hospital as a nurse, was seeking permanent residency in Australia, but found himself "in a real dilemma" when Beets and another colleague told him that his contract wasn't going to be renewed, the newspaper reports.
Marsh made applications to 19 jobs at other Sydney hospitals before murdering Beets, a prosecutor told the Supreme Court, but received either rejection letters or no response.
Marsh tracked Beets for a week prior to killing her at her home, where she was found slain on her veranda, prosecutor Mark Tedeschi told jurors. Beets was stabbed eight times in the upper chest and her neck was "severely cut," according to the Telegraph.
"The accused formed the view that the reason he was being consistently rejected was because ... Michelle Beets was giving him bad references -- and to some degree this was true," Tedeschi told the court.
Opening statements in the case are to continue Thursday.
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