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D.A. drops charge against Newport man accused of killing wife

December 19, 2012 |  3:51 pm

Peter ChadwickProsecutors have dropped a “special circumstances” allegation against a wealthy Newport Beach businessman accused of killing his wife and dumping her body in a trash bin, removing the basis for a possible death penalty.

Peter Chadwick, 48, still faces murder charges in the death of his wife, Quee “Q.C.” Chadwick, 46, which could bring a term of 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Authorities said the couple had been arguing over money. After she disappeared from the couple's Newport Coast home in October, her body was found buried under garbage in a dumpster in San Diego County.

Peter Chadwick was initially charged with murder for financial gain, which carried the special circumstances charge. Prosecutors had not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Chadwick has pleaded not guilty.

“We’re still investigating the case,” said Orange County district attorney’s representative Farrah Emami, suggesting that new evidence may surface.

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-- Christopher Goffard

Photo: Booking photo of Peter Chadwick. Credit: Newport Beach Police Department.

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