DA’s office will pursue murder charges against Daniel Andrew MacGinnis

Published 12:17 am Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Jefferson County District Attorney’s office is still pursuing a murder charge against Daniel Andrew MacGinnis, though he was sentenced to life in prison and 99 years on two unrelated cases.

A Tyler County judge sentenced MacGinnis to 99 years for a charge of possession of a controlled substance, and life for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon for offenses that occurred in Tyler County in September 2017, according to KFDM.

The charges were enhanced due to his lengthy criminal history.

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Late last month DNA results linked MacGinnis, 60, of Warren, to Patricia Ann Jacob, who was last seen Oct. 5, 1988, at a tavern in Hardin County.

Her body was found the next day in the Neches River in Port Arthur; the cause of death was drowning, and she had sustained trauma to her head and face.

The autopsy listed her manner of death as “probable homicide.”

MacGinnis was arrested and charged with the cold case murder of Jacobs. Bond was set at $1 million.

Mike Laird, assistant district attorney for the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, said the office would still pursue the murder charges in Jefferson County.

Other investigation

The Texas Rangers with help from the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office are taking a second look at a 2004 case originally ruled suicide.

A woman who made a statement to law enforcement after the death of Nelda Widener in her Jasper County home called the sheriff’s office when she heard about MacGinnis’ arrest in the Port Arthur murder. The evidence including photos and the gun used were still locked away and were turned over to the Texas Rangers, Jasper County Sheriff’s Lt. John Cooper said.

MacGinnis had a connection to the deceased Widener, and was either a boyfriend or had done some work at her house, he said.

A timeline for this investigation was not available.