Ex-Cop Kills Wife in Anguish over Holiday Finances

December 12, 2011  |  

It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for many Christmas turns out to be the most stressful. On Saturday, an ex-NYPD cop snapped under the financial pressures of the holidays after buying his wife a Louis Vuitton handbag for Christmas. When the couple got into a heated argument about money, Clarence Cash, 49, shot and killed his wife.

According to the NY Post, Cash, calmly told officers, “I just shot my wife,” after allegedly firing 10 bullets into Tracey Young, 42, in their Queens Condo. Young was a top tax investigator who specialized in busting tobacco smugglers. Cash detailed the whole act to cops, saying he shot his wife three times in the face, adding, “My wife, she didn’t deserve that.’’

Cash reportedly went completely over the edge when in the midst of their financial argument, he punched Young and she threatened to leave him. Neighbors admitted that they heard the couple arguing, then loud bangs — but no one called the cops, despite suspected gunfire.

After the incident around 10:30 pm, Cash told cops he wandered the city for more than seven hours trying to work up the nerve to commit suicide. Eventually, he turned himself in around 6 am yesterday, handing over two handguns.

Cash, who supposedly appeared remorseful, was charged with first-degree murder and remanded without bail. Because he is an ex-cop, his lawyer asked that he be placed in protective custody at Rikers.

Neighbors said the couple, who was married a few years ago and had no kids, was last seen arriving home in Cash’s black Mercedes at about 9 pm Saturday.

“They seemed fine when they got on the elevator,” one neighbor said.

Building resident Maple Dong, 28, said Young had recently told her Cash “bought a lot of gifts for her for Christmas,” including the handbag.

“She said, ‘I asked for it, and he bought it for me,’ ” Dong said.

But apparently Cash couldn’t really afford it. According to public records, he’d been hit with federal tax liens, multiple civil judgments, and warrants from New York State for failing to pay back taxes dating to at least 1998.

In sad irony, Young’s own mother was murdered by a lover when she was just a child, a neighbor said.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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