Police said Lee's nude body was found inside her bedroom on April 27. She had been stabbed in the throat and head, bound with a cell phone charger cord and seared on the chest with a steam iron.
McGurk, who told police he once considered joining the priesthood, was arrested on Thursday, May 21. He was charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of tampering with physical evidence and two counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
McGurk, who said in a statement to the police that he finds crime scene photos and cadavers disturbing, was in his final year of forensic psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
McGurk met Lee, 24, in 2004 on the John Jay campus. Lee was also a student at the college at the time. They had been dating on and off until her death.
McGurk, a soccer star at his college, once borrowed money from Lee because he was out of work. He told police he paid her back. He admitted telling Lee he had cancer and needed treatment so she would loan him money.
McGurk said the last time he was inside Lee’s apartment was Wednesday, April 22 at 2 a.m. in the morning. When police asked McGurk if he went to his girlfriend’s apartment the night she was murdered he said he walked to her block and on it, but he did not go into her apartment.
In a later statement he admitted to meeting Lee on the corner of her block for a few minutes that night. She owed him money but was unable to pay him it back that night. She stayed a few minutes and left to go home.
According to McGurk he then left the area. He said Lee called him on his cell phone at 3.56 a.m.
McGurk, who is being held without bail, pleaded not guilty and will return to court on September 22. If found guilty McGurk faces life in prison.