Cantonment Man Indicted For First Degree Murder For Killing His Navy Wife In 2001 During Adulterous Affair

July 29, 2020

A Cantonment man has been indicted for the murder of his wife nearly 19 year ago.

An Escambia County grand jury indicted Gregory Paul Malarik, 57, for first degree premeditated murder with a firearm.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Malarik for the 2001 murder of his wife,  Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Sherri Malarik.  Gregory Malarik, a former Navy Petty Officer 1st Class, was employed by the Naval Aviation Technical Training Center aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola.

The body of  Sherri Lynn Malarik was found September 22, 2001, at about 8 a.m. inside a Dodge Caravan in the parking lot of the Winn Dixie and Movie Gallery at 1550 South Highway 29, less than three miles from the couple’s home. She was found by family members who are not named in the report.

An autopsy found that she was murdered – shot twice in the head with a .25 caliber handgun. She was found in the floorboard of the van. Forensic evidence indicated that she was shot while seated in the passenger seat.

The investigation revealed he was engaged in an extramarital affair with Jennifer Spohn who, at that time, was his co-worker. Spohn later disclosed that he wanted to end the marriage but, having previously been married, did not want to go through another divorce proceeding. She related a conversation in which Gregory Malarick suggested he should just kill Sherri.

Investigators said they believed Gregory Malarik drove Sherri Malarik to the Winn Dixie in the minivan. Gregory told Sphon to meet him later that evening at the Winn Dixie to pick him up. When Spohn arrived at Winn Dixie at the appointed time, Gregory was there with the van, got into her vehicle, and told her to drive normally. Once out on Highway 29, Gregory discarded what appeared to be a long-haired wig. Spohn then dropped Gregory off at the marital residence.

Swabs taken from his hands the day of the murder were positive for gunshot residue, and pants believed to have been worn the night of the murder were found to have gunpowder in the left front pocket, the report states.

In 2017, a NCIS investigator examined phone records from the Malarik residence from the  night of September 21, 2001. He found that multiple calls were made at 6:29 p.m., 7:59 p.m., 8 p.m. at 8:47 p.m. “This provided two periods of time sufficient for Malarik to have committed the homicide, transported (Sherri) Malarik’s body to Winn Dixie, and returned home,” the report states.

Multiple children in the home were interviewed in 2001 and have since been re-interviewed. All provided statements generally consistent with a timeframe provided by Gregory Malarik. However, one child said that Gregory Malarik called Sherri Malarik into the backyard on September 21, 2001. Shortly after seeing her go in the backyard, the child said they heard a “pop” similar to a firecracker. Gregory Malarik then immediately walked back inside, showered and changed clothes, the report states, before leaving for 10 to 15 minutes. That was sufficient time, the investigation found, to drive the victim to Winn Dixie.

The .25 caliber handgun used in the murder was never recovered, but the investigation revealed Gregory Malarik owned such a weapon at the time of the homicide.

The arrest report states that emails recovered show Gregory Malarik and his mistress had discussed “how to trick a polygraph” as early July 31, 2001.

An email from Sherri Malarik to her sister stated: “I believe that there is spiritual warfare going on in my home and Greg just can’t see it…He is simply upset because he feel that I put other people before him when I listed to the possibility of masonry being something other than it seems…He feels as if I betrayed him. Please keep us in your prayers…we need all the help we can get.”

Spohn was re-interviewed in May 7, 2002, and gave a similar account to her 2001 statements. Spohn was interviewed again on March 6, 2020, during which she gave testimony that was inconsistent with her original statement, the arrest report states, leading investigators to believe her original statement about returning a lawn mower was a cover story. Those statements were redacted. Investigators believe she assisted in the homicide and the destruction of evidence which had been preplanned, possibility for several months as indicated by emails.


11 Responses to “Cantonment Man Indicted For First Degree Murder For Killing His Navy Wife In 2001 During Adulterous Affair”

  1. Red Sanford on September 15th, 2020 9:18 am

    So is the mistress not guilty as well, she knew about the murder and then picked him up… black widow

  2. Chris S on July 30th, 2020 8:32 am

    “spiritual warfare and masonry being something other than it seems”
    I’d love to read more about what she was referring to here.

    Bill I can assure you that nothing this man is accused of doing has or had anything to do with masonry. You can teach and learn good morals but how you act upon them is what makes a mason. This indecent has brought bad questions on who masons are. We are all capable of bad things as humans, We as masons never promote such actions.

  3. Bout time on July 30th, 2020 7:43 am

    In jail. No bond. Better late than never. Thank you NCIS and ECSO.

  4. Shelia R Owsiak on July 29th, 2020 12:39 pm

    I am a little bewildered…in 2001..he tested positive for residue. The girlfriend picked him up at Winn Dixie. The girlfriend stated he had stated he should kill his wife. He had the same type of weapon. So…that was in 2001 (19 years ago) and he’s just now being charged?

  5. ROBERT on July 29th, 2020 10:55 am

    Thanks to our LEO’s for not letting this go any longer. Lock up this killer.

  6. Area Resident on July 29th, 2020 8:31 am

    Why did it take so long?

  7. Time piece on July 29th, 2020 7:46 am

    Well…. He will not be “Spohn’n” any longer

  8. Bill M on July 29th, 2020 7:39 am

    “spiritual warfare and masonry being something other than it seems”
    I’d love to read more about what she was referring to here.

  9. KT on July 29th, 2020 7:26 am

    Great job ECSO! This case really scared me & others at the time it happened. No one knew if this was just a random murderer on the loose or not. I am so glad this case & others haven’t been forgotten. Justice served!

  10. Keep us updated on July 29th, 2020 2:35 am

    Keep us updated on whether or not Jennifer Spohn is arrested for helping Greg plan the murder and for her part in the destruction of evidence!!

  11. DK on July 29th, 2020 2:02 am

    Awesome work to all involved I remember this case clearly and was wandering what ever happened until reading this.If he’s guilty throw the book at him!

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