Cantonment Murder Suspect Released On Bond; He’s Charged With Killing Navy Wife In 2001 During Adulterous Affair

August 20, 2020

A Cantonment man accused of murdering his wife nearly 19 year ago has been released on bond.

Gregory Paul Malarik, 57, is charged with first degree premeditated murder with a firearm.

During a bond hearing Wednesday, Judge Jan Shackleford set his bond at $400,000. Records show he was released from  Escambia County Jail about 10:30 Wednesday night.

Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrested Malarik on July 28 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.

Comments

4 Responses to “Cantonment Murder Suspect Released On Bond; He’s Charged With Killing Navy Wife In 2001 During Adulterous Affair”

  1. Beth on August 25th, 2020 6:35 am

    How is this allowed????

  2. R C on August 20th, 2020 1:21 pm

    How is this possible? The evidence in the article is true, would seem sufficient to require his incarceration until a trail. A pretrial hearing would provide an opportunity for any defense evidence for possible bail. How do we reasonably explains such an extensive delay in justice?

  3. Concerned citizen on August 20th, 2020 10:27 am

    Bail bondsmen get ready!

  4. ensley boy on August 20th, 2020 9:29 am

    Bond on a first degree premeditated murder with a firearm charge? I did”nt think that was even possible. How is that allowed?





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